The Rocky Mountain District Kiwanis Foundation was formed in the fall of 1983, as the fundraising and donating arm of the Rocky Mountain District Kiwanis, comprised of Kiwanis clubs primarily in Colorado, with some clubs in Wyoming and western Nebraska.
From 1983 to 1994 the Foundation raised and donated $5 to $10 thousand per year, with donations going to various children-oriented charities and member club projects and high school key clubs.
In 1994 the Foundation founded and staffed the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute (KPTI) at Children's Hospital in Denver. The Foundation raised $75 to $125 thousand per year during 1994 to 1997 to support the KPTI administration.
In 1997 the Foundation turned administration of KPTI over to Children's Hospital. Then during 1997 through 2011 the Foundation continued to support KPTI with annual donations of $40 to $70 thousand per year to Children's Hospital designated to KPTI. Total Foundation support for KPTI during this period was close to $1 million.
While starting and funding KPTI during 1994-2011, the Foundation also donated thousands of dollars per year to children-oriented projects by member Kiwanis clubs and others and supported high school key clubs and college Circle K clubs.
After 2011, the Foundation switched its Designated Signature Project from KPTI to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Denver and Colorado Springs and Rose Hill Hospitality House in Grand Junction, which temporarily house families while their children are being treated for serious illnesses. The Foundation has been donating $30 thousand per year to these charities as well as providing grants of $20 to $25 thousand per year to member Kiwanis clubs for children-focused projects and $5 to $6 thousand per year to support Key and Circle K clubs and scholarships.
In addition to raising money for charitable donations, the Foundation has also raised money for funds to provide income for charities in future years, beginning with the Ted R. Johnson fund in 1985, the Rod Ellerbusch fund in 1995, and the District Signature Project fund in 1995. These funds together have grown to $331 thousand in size and they generate about $15 to $20 thousand in income per year available for charitable uses.