By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado charity is hoping it can gain more backers on Colorado Gives Day following a massive budget shortfall because of Sports Authority’s bankruptcy.
“They do such a good job state wide promoting this day. It grabs people’s attention and a lot of times we get a lot of first-time donors on Colorado Gives Day,” said Becky Zimmerman, the President and CEO of the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
The NSCD, which is based in Winter Park, helps more than 3,200 people experience the Colorado outdoors each year.
“We provide therapeutic reputation to people with all types of disabilities; physical, cognitive, behavioral disabilities and all ages. We do adaptive sports skiing up in Winter Park, kayak and rock climbing here in the Denver area,” Zimmerman said.
But in the spring it seemed unsure if many of the programs would continue. Sports Authority was a major sponsor for the NSCD and when it went bankrupt that left about $500,000 out of the charity’s budget.
The charity ended its last fiscal year in the red.
“We haven’t had to pull back too much on programs or staffing. But what we don’t have money for in 2017 is equipment or any type of other improvements. It’s kind of status quo for a year — which, when you look at the impact of the torpedo we got last year, status quo is pretty good,” Zimmerman said.
With an emphasis on smaller partners the NSCD is hoping to rebound.
“A lot of people that were already doing something for us; are doing more both on a corporate level and an individual level. It’s hard, it’s a lot of hard work, and because of the people we serve, we subsidize all of the programs we provide to people so that fundraising and those monies are really, really important dollars,” Zimmerman said.
The NSCD is planning to be outside Union Station on Tuesday. DaVita is matching donations for Colorado Gives Day.
“We will have some exhibits, we will have a lot of information. We know it’s going to be cold, so we’ll have two big heaters — so you can come and get warm and learn about NSCD. And, of course, Cinnamon, our therapy dog, will be there,” Zimmerman said.
You can also donate at coloradogives.org/DVANSCD
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.