The Lamar Community College Foundation is proud to announce that it has been selected as one of the recipients of a grant from NextFifty Initiative, a Colorado-based private foundation dedicated to funding innovative, mission-driven initiatives that improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers.
NextFifty Initiative awards grants through a competitive application and review process. These funds will support the college’s Innovate & Make Space (I&MS) and its new project entitled “Engaging Active Seniors in the Makerspace Movement.” This grant will encourage active seniors (ages 50+) to participate in the I&MS by taking certification classes, which promote lifelong learning, socialization, and opportunities for activity. It will engage active seniors as Master Trainers and/or participants in the Makerspace Mentor Program, both of which reinforce volunteerism, encourage cross- generational learning, and help to break the aging stereotypes. Finally, this grant will give active seniors the opportunity to utilize the I&MS to start a small business, begin an encore career, or teach their own project classes to supplement their income. By growing two targeted areas of interest, the sewing and art/woodworking studios, the I&MS intends to attract active seniors and engage them in areas of their expertise.
“This funding supports our capacity to make a positive, lasting difference to the aging communities we serve,” said Anne-Marie Crampton, LCC’s Director of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the LCC Foundation. “NextFifty Initiative’s partnership allows us to substantially expand I&MS offerings and provide meaningful lifelong learning opportunities for active seniors. Seniors will be able to engage in multiple opportunities to learn, share, and earn in the I&MS.”
The I&MS will host three open houses for active seniors in the coming months. They are scheduled for 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 1 and Friday, September 6, as well as 3:00 – 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 3. Seniors are encouraged to come learn about the makerspace, get a sneak-peek on upcoming equipment, participate in take-home projects, enter to win free certification classes, and enjoy refreshments.
“We know that communities which recognize and encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger and more vibrant,” said Diana McFail, acting CEO and Chief Operating Officer of NextFifty Initiative. “The Lamar Community College Foundation was selected as one of this cycle’s grant recipients because we believe this project is a sustainable approach to address the needs of older adults today and into the future.
We offer our congratulations and look forward to a strong partnership that expands society’s understanding of the needs of people in their second 50 years.”
In addition to the LCC Foundation, other Next50 Initiative recipients can be found at
About LCC’s Innovate & Make Space
LCC’s Innovate & Make Space is SE Colorado’s first makerspace. The I&MS encourages users to bring big and small ideas and use the machinery to make their visions a reality. The space is specially designed for tinkerers, hobbyists, crafters, and budding entrepreneurs who are interested in designing, prototyping, and creating a finished product. I&MS users work alongside Master Certified Volunteers to make their projects come to life using state-of-the art technology, including a laser cutter/engraver, vinyl cutter and heat press, 3D printers, CNC milling machine, routers, and several industrial sewing machines. Funded by the NextFifty Initiative, new equipment will be added throughout this two-year grant.
About the Lamar Community College Foundation
The Lamar Community College Foundation was founded in 1972 to serve the college, its students, and communities. Since that time it has primarily focused on scholarships but has expanded its efforts to partner with the college to provide additional resources for growth. The mission of the Lamar Community College Foundation is to mobilize community and philanthropic resources to support Lamar Community College as it enriches lives through learning. In addition to co-funding construction for LCC’s new residence hall, Prowers House, it has also secured hundreds of thousands in grant funds from funders to support and benefit the college, its students and communities in recent years. Additional information on the LCCF can be found at www.lamarcc.edu/foundation.
About NextFifty Initiative
NextFifty Initiative is a Colorado-based, private foundation. The organization exists to create brighter, longer and healthier futures that unlock the potential of communities through an advanced grant making approach. Through this work, communities are positioned to fully benefit from the wisdom and diverse experiences of a thriving aging population. Our approach applies a multitude of lenses in funding high-yield aging solutions that benefit people age 50 and older. NextFifty Initiative focuses on grant making designed to support concepts, projects and innovations that will benefit generations for years to come.