Sleeping Giant Society Stories
The Sleeping Giant Society honors individuals who have committed to supporting our community beyond their lifetimes. The Sleeping Giant Society is our way of acknowledging your commitment to the future—today.
Below are the stories Sleeping Giant Society members continue to tell, after their lifetime. The contributions these members have made to better the Yampa Valley will always be remembered.
This community has been so good to me, I just want to give something back. -Don Lufkin
Because of his generosity, Don was given the Tread of Pioneer Museum’s Leckenby Award in 1999 and was named the Individual Philanthropist of the Year by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation in 2000. In addition to other causes, Don donated money to help build the Lufkin LIFT-UP Center, the Lufkin Library at the Tread of Pioneers Museum and the Lufkin Atrium in a wing of the Yampa Valley Medical Center. His favorite causes were those benefiting youths, seniors and promoting the health of residents of the Yampa Valley, all of which he funded through the Lufkin Family Endowment Fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. He said he funded his favorite causes through YVCF because “he didn’t want to forget anyone.”
In addition to his philanthropy, Don also gave generously of his time. He served on the board of the Routt Memorial Hospital for more than 15 years, including two as president; served on the board of the Routt County Foundation for Senior Citizens; and the board for the Mesa Schoolhouse as well as the committee to acquire and refurbish the school. He also was a longtime member of Rotary, the Routt County Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen Association, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs.
His legacy will last forever in the Valley and the Yampa Valley Community Foundation looks forward to continuing to carry out his wishes.
“I want to help people get an education to help them find a good job.” – Robert J. Welborn
Upon his passing in September 2013, Routt County resident Robert J. Welborn bequeathed his Steamboat residence and an automobile to the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. At Mr. Welborn’s request, the Community Foundation liquidated the assets, part of which established the Robert Welborn Scholarship Fund, a $300,000 endowment fund that will provide scholarships to Routt and Moffat County students attending a trade/vocational school or pursuing a career in engineering or the sciences. Through this unique gift and his partnership with Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Mr. Welborn has created an opportunity for success for many local youth that will last in perpetuity.
In addition, Mr. Welborn requested generous grants be awarded to five other organizations serving the community in Education and Health and Human Services. With his primary focus on trade schools, vocational training, and engineering, Mr. Welborn granted a gift to Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center in Hayden. The Center offers courses directed toward junior and senior students from Hayden, Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek who are interested in basic civil and structural engineering concepts, terminology and practice. His vehicle was also donated to the Center where automotive and welding program students practiced engine maintenance and then sold the car with the proceeds purchasing $6500 of tools and equipment for the Center. Kevin Kleckler, Career and Technical Education Director said: “Quality career and technical education curriculum requires spending money on a lot of consumable materials such as welding rod, shielding gases, grinding discs, shop rags, oil, grease, carb and brake cleaner, paint, etc. The gifts from Robert Welborn allows our vocational programs to function as the best high school shop in the valley and expose students from Hayden, Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek, Clark, Craig, and Milner to tools and consumables that are used in the industry, as well as create beautiful projects that students take pride and accomplishment in making. These gifts help make all our students’ experiences at the Babson-Carpenter Career and Technical Education Center the best part of their day, which keeps them in school in order to graduate and create a path to success. The quality of our programs is a result of people like Robert Welborn who recognize that our school systems have an obligation to produce students who are college ready as well as career ready.”
Yampa Valley School also received a gift toward their mission. This school offers nontraditional education for students, primarily students at risk, whose needs cannot be met in a regular, special education, or vocational school. Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association, Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition, and Yampa Valley Medical Center also received grants toward providing their ongoing services to the community.
Mr. Welborn was originally from Arkansas and studied chemical engineering at the University of Arkansas. He relocated to Steamboat in 1999 and enjoyed the ski area and the agricultural and mining tradition of the region. He loved being on the Ski Area and the beautiful south valley views. He wanted to “help people get an education to help them find a good job.” Yampa Valley Community Foundation is proud to have had the opportunity to facilitate these gifts on behalf of Mr. Wellborn. “This is a wonderful example of how individuals and families who live and play in the Yampa Valley can contribute to their communities through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation using our specialized services and expertise,” said Mark Andersen, Executive Director.