Estes Park American Legion Post 119 is growing and positively changing!
In 2019, members of Post 119 created the Estes Park Post 119 Charitable Foundation and obtained 501(c)3 status for that Foundation. Directors of the new organization include members from Post 119 and Auxiliary Unit 119. Membership is additionally open to the community, Friends of the Foundation, who wish to confirm their patriotic support for veterans and the Legion, but do not have the family military history to qualify for Legion membership.
The Foundation's purposes are to:
In recent years, Estes Park’s American Legion Post suffered from the same trends witnessed in national Veterans organizations. Decreasing membership and patronage have undermined traditional financial foundations. At our Post, building maintenance suffered and at times the future of our operations looked bleak.
The Foundation was created, in part, to address the building maintenance issues. One of the challenges for a Legion Post is that its IRS-designated tax-exempt status is as a 501(c)19 organization. While donations to the post are tax-deductible, the Post was not eligible for many foundations and donor-advised funds that exclusively give to 501(c)3 organizations. As a 501(c)3 organization, the Foundation is better able to access these funding sources to support much needed capital improvements for the building and property. As part of this improvement strategy, Post 119 membership voted and sold their building to the Foundation for the sum of $1, with the accompanying deed restriction that if the Foundation ever decided to sell the building, Post 119 would have first right to repurchase the building for $1.
With the new funding possibilities for building improvements, our home can continue to fulfill its role in the community. The building began as the Bureau of Reclamation’s administrative offices for the Colorado-Big Thompson Water Project. Over the years, the Legion building continued to serve as a community center for Estes Park, housing scouting and youth activities as well as community gatherings throughout the years.
To underscore the transformation that is taking place, “Circle 119” was created. It is the new moniker that encompasses the historic building, the Post 119 Legion family, the Charitable Foundation, the events programming, and the community organizations that operate within this building. The concept borrows from an early Arapahoe name for the Estes Valley: The Circle. This symbolizes the unity of purpose that will be experienced through this grand partnership. Estes Park American Legion Post 119 is building toward a sustainable future… with help from a Circle of friends.
Affiliation Agreement between the Post and the Charitable Foundation
Charitable Foundation Bylaws
Lease Agreement as Amended