PEP Business Spotlights
“The sunflower is one of the most easily recognizable flowers in our world. One of the unique characteristics of these flowers is that they turn their face to the sun, and the sunflower blossoms in the sun’s rays. Sunflowers stand tall, plain, honest, and upright.”
Tall, plain, honest, and upright… just like the business ethics and morals of Colorado Mills! Colorado Mills started in 1999, and now in 2023 has around sixty employees. From sunup to sundown these employees work seven days a week to produce sunflower oil and sunflower meal that is the main ingredient in numerous forms of livestock feeds. At the Mill, sunflower seeds go through a complete start to finish process. The seed starts from your local sunflower farmer, then go through the process of extracting the sunflower oil from the seed. The oil is then refined to reach the finished product that you might just see in your kitchen.
Did you know that 75-80% of the crops Colorado Mills uses in their mill comes from local farmers? This provides diversity for the area farmers, gives them more stability knowing Colorado Mills will purchase their crops, and provides better pricing for the farmers. Sunflowers, being the main crop purchased by Colorado Mills, are a unique commodity for foods and use limited water to grow. While sunflowers are a simple crop to grow, there also come challenges. This is where Kent Wollert, Rick Robbins and Kevin Swanson are great attributes to Colorado Mills. Rick, Kent, and Kevin have done their research on sunflowers and provide education back to farmers on how to properly cultivate and harvest sunflowers along with advancing education on future sunflower farming practices.
Community Involvement is a huge philosophy for Colorado Mills. They have hosted a Beef Day for the FFA and 4H groups in the area to explain their carcass results to them. This in turn teaches the kids how their animals are graded, along with providing information to these kids about what to feed their animals, and how to receive grade A results. In addition to working with local 4-H groups, Colorado Mills also works with Lamar Community College and West Texas A &M in their technical and equine programs. Not only does Colorado Mills work with kids but they also work with 150+ farms and 600+ ranches. And in addition, Colorado Mills is very active with Economic Development groups in Prowers, Baca, Bent, and Kiowa Counties. Rick and Kent also sit on multiple boards and participate in multiple meetings throughout the entire community.
“Colorado Mills is just as committed to the community as they are to being profitable in their own business.” Explained Wollert. “We are here to provide a career, not just a job.” They are here to promote this area and keep growing their business, deepen the labor pool, and to provide opportunities for more and more to happen in our little community. “Yes, expansion is the idea. That’s where we are headed. We are starting to see more demand, and without expansion we may not be able to meet that demand.” Concluded Wollert and Robbins.
Colorado Mills has received numerous awards from Colorado Companies to Watch, to Colorado Biz Magazine, to receiving recognition from the County Commissioners, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Colorado Mills has been a huge asset to our community as well as to the surrounding counties. Colorado Mill stands tall, does business that is plain and simple for its customers, they are as honest as they come, and they are moving forward and upright.
Lamar Outdoor Sports
Do you want to feel the outdoor experience of Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s without leaving Lamar, Colorado? Look no further! Lamar Outdoor Sports, formerly known as Mike’s Main Street Sports, is now officially open for business. The new owners, Todd and Sarah Horning moved to Lamar about five years ago and have provided numerous business ventures to our area. Lamar Outdoor Sports specializes in firearms, ammunition, firearm accessories, along with powersport parts and accessories.
You know that new gun you have been dreaming about? Todd can provide a higher level of customer service to make sure he can find exactly what you are looking for. When you go the city, you might not always get the expertise or purchasing experience you deserve, but Lamar Outdoor Sports will spend the time with the customer to make sure they get the best customer service possible. Todd and Sarah take their time with each customer to make sure their questions are answered, and their problems are resolved, so they know when the customer walks out the door that their needs were fulfilled.
With new ownership, comes new changes! Lamar Outdoor Sports has begun to increase their inventory, along with adding some unique items to their store front. Not only have they added items, but they are also acquiring a new facility to give their business a whole new look. They are making big investments into our 2nd Amendment right, as well as big investments into our community as well. Lamar Outdoor Sports’ philosophy is always doing what is best for the people. “Whatever you do, you have to keep what’s best for the people and community first!” Todd explained. Todd and Sarah work to build the relationship with the customer first because they themselves understand how important it is to have a specialized experience.
Additionally, they also understand how important outdoor recreation is in an area such as Lamar. Firearms not only provide pest control to farmers and ranchers, but they also provide great family sporting events. You always hear people say, “There’s nothing to do here...” Have you ever thought about shooting sports? For those who do not know, shooting sports are groups of recreational and competitive sporting activities that are judged by your accuracy, your speed, and your precision with certain weapons. Shooting sports is a great 4-H activity for people of all ages.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) provide great outdoor recreation, and many benefits to our rural area. You may be a motocross rider or a farmer who is simply herding their animals, either way ATVs play a huge part in your role. Do you know where your local powersports dealer is? Right in the heart of Lamar! Lamar Outdoor Sports offers powersports as well as parts and accessories for your outdoor toys. Todd has been in the outdoor recreation atmosphere most of his life, so he has special expertise when it comes to powersports.
J & N Shoes/ Mr. D's
“The average man owns twelve pairs of shoes, while the average woman owns a whopping twenty-seven pairs. That would make the national average about nineteen pairs per person.” According to New Dream. With a population of almost 12,000 in Prowers County, that would make the number of shoes sold roughly at about 228,000. Now that is a considerable number of shoes for one store to manage! Since 1961, J&N Shoes has been the shoe supplier for Southeast Colorado. Being one of the only independent shoe stores for miles away, J&N is a rare diamond.
In 1984 Jennifer Steward was attending college in Lamar, when Dave Riddle had reached out to her business teacher (Sue Root) and mentioned needing some help at the store. He wanted the teacher to recommend one student in the business class who she thought would be a good fit for this position. This teacher approached Jennifer and she thought this would be a good side job, and continued to work towards her education when finally, she decided to give J&N a chance to be her future. “There was an opportunity given, and I decided to take it. I didn’t know at the time this was exactly what I needed. It’s like it was meant to be!” mentioned Jennifer. In 1992 Jennifer and her husband Jerry purchased 25% of the stock in J&N Shoes, then in 2006 they purchased the rest of the stock and have been sole owners since then.
In 1992 J&N Shoes expanded by cutting a hole in the north wall and launching their sporting goods store, Mr. D’s Sports, and started carrying athletic shoes apparel and sports items. Different from Big 5, Hibbett Sports, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, J&N/Mr. D’s is a sit and fit shoe store that’s invested in their community! Their customers are not only friends, but family. “You get to hear the customer’s stories, you hear them talk about their family, their troubles and you hear them talk about why they choose the shoes they do. When most customers walk through the door you already know what size shoe they wear and what styles they prefer,” stated Jennifer. Being a lifelong Prowers County resident, Jennifer and her staff know what know what sports are being played by the season it is, and they can generally tell you what you will need for that sport. J&N Shoes is there to serve their customers and therefore they listen to what the customers want and try to supply that need.
In addition to shoes and sports apparel, J&N also does customized screen printing and tuxedo rental. Not only does J&N provide rentals to eleven different schools during prom time, but they also provide tuxedos for weddings and special occasions throughout the rest of the year. J&N Shoes currently employes a screen printer who can create personalized designs and products like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and much more for schools, family reunions, teams or anything you would like. Give them your idea and they can print it for you. They employ four salespersons, two who works five days a week, and three part time employees who assist in helping with trying on apparel, retrieving products that are needed for the customer, stocking the shelves, sizing the individuals for rentals, answering phones, conducting the sales, and changing displays and front window dressings. Along with these five employees is Jennifer. She works the floor, as well as does all the behind the scenes work at J&N. “It is more than selling shoes for me. My whole life, 39 years of it has been spent here serving people. It’s taken years, and lots of hard work but it’s worth every second of it! I really care about people and our community!" stated Steward.
From Under Armor to Adidas, Hey Dude to Ugg, Redwing Boots and countless other brands, J&N Shoes/Mr. D’s staff is here to serve your needs for footwear, sports items, sports apparel, tuxedo rentals and screen-printing. "We care about our community and the people who live here. We appreciate their business, and we wouldn’t be here without them!” Make sure you stop in and see Jennifer and her staff at J&N Shoes/Mr. D’s they would love to see you!
From the Owner Jennifer Steward: I want everyone in this community to know that I truly appreciate all of their support for the last 39 years! I want you to know you are important, and are the reason J&N Shoes has been here since 1961... You want us here and support this business so that we can be here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
Brew Unto Others
“Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot,” sings Gary Portnoy. Some days really do take everything you’ve got, so why not head down to Brew Unto Others where they can give you a break from all your worries with just one cup of coffee. Their Mission is to serve one another with Excellence & Integrity; Loving Each Other as Christ Loves us, offering a place of Hope, Peace & Unconditional Love for the Community to come together.
At The Brew you can get your coffee completely personalized, and the exact way YOU like it. There are numerous flavors including sugar free options to choose from, to create any combination you could possibly think of. Don’t like coffee? Don’t worry, they’ve also got teas, lemonades, and Italian sodas. Not only does Brew Unto Others serve beverages, but they also sell a variety of lunch and breakfast items baked from scratch. From breakfast burritos to cinnamon rolls, there are plenty of baked goods, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches to give you the fuel you need to get through your morning. The Brew serves a selection of specialty salads, gourmet sandwiches, wrap options, seasonal soups, and offers keto options in most of the menu items for a healthier appetite. Brew Unto Others really is providing a three-course meal by restarting the Brew Bundle in May, where you can purchase a meal to take home for dinner. This puts a whole new spin on ‘it’s my turn to cook dinner.’
The Brew is there to be present, to be seen, and to make a difference. “My dad has always told me if you want to make a difference, you have to get involved!” Explained manager Tera Bender. Brew Unto Others holds vendor markets throughout the year where they invite small businesses to come down and set up shop in their facility for the day and tries to bring everyone downtown to shop. They also host events to bring awareness to the community such as the most recent seizure training, and breast cancer awareness training. The Brew provides a facility for meetings, a venue for small gatherings, and does specialized catering for the community. They partner with many local groups, schools, programs, and have also provided Prowers Economic Prosperity with a place to host Brewing for Business.
The Brew staff is made up of six baristas, including Tera. “I have my crew who do an amazing job on the drinks, Hannah, and Alyssa. Haley and Hollie are the food professionals and take over the kitchen to provide yummy food to our customers. Lillie and Ateshia have the front-line customer service down and are fantastic with customers. Then Denisha, she is my go-to!” summed up Tera. A portion of the tips these baristas collect are donated to a local non-profit in our community that The Brew is passionate about, now those are some top-quality people. “We strive for top-quality customer service and top-quality products!”
“Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. And they are always glad you came,” as the Cheers theme song says. “Not only do we serve a great cup of coffee, WE know your name, and you ARE family to us,” explained Tera. “Brew Unto Others loves our community, and we love to serve each and every one of our customers!” Make sure you stop into Brew Unto Others, where everyone knows your name, and grab your coffee, breakfast, or lunch item just the way you like it.
“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” You’ve probably heard this a time or two, right? This slogan has been heard all over America since 1992, but rings especially true here in Small Town, America. Wiley Processing, LLC is a family-owned business right here in the heart of the plains. “We sit in the Southeastern portion of Colorado where farming and ranching are main means of survival,” explained Josh and Jana Weimer, owners of the operation. The significant shortage of beef processing plants has fueled their desire to own and operate Wiley Processing, LLC in September of 2021. “In the past we have processed anything from lambs to goats, sheep to rabbits, and we’ve even processed some yaks! Our focus now has been on beef and hogs,” stated Josh.
At Wiley Processing, they can custom process animals to the customer’s wants and needs. “If they want all hamburger, we will get them all hamburger. If they want steaks, we get them steaks. It’s really about what the customer wants,” stated Jana. Wiley Processing became USDA Certified on March 20th and is now able to sell individual cuts at a very reasonable price. They are also in the process of becoming certified for individual retail sales of hogs and are wrapping up the process of being able to accept EBT Cards as well. Currently, they offer a variety of cuts such as chuck center roast, chuck steaks, ribeye roast bone-in, ribeye steak bone-in, back ribs, ribeye steak boneless, brisket flat, brisket point, skirt steak, porter house steak, T-bone steak, boneless strip steak, tenderloin steak, flank steak, top sirloin steak, tri-tip sirloin, petite sirloin steak, top round steak, bottom round rump roast, eye of the round roast, London broil, ground beef, cubed steak, and have six different gourmet hamburger patties. The gourmet hamburger patty flavors are pepper jack jalapeno, green chile, hatch green chile cheddar, garlic and onion, and jalapeno popper and mozzarella. Is your mouth watering yet? Wiley Processing dry ages their meat for fourteen days then places it in their freezers for selling, however they do have the ability to dry age meat for up to thirty days if you want a more flavorful product. Not only do they provide wonderful-tasting food, but they also provide top-of-the-line customer service. You are greeted as soon as you walk through the door, and once the customer pays, the entire staff pauses their work, grabs up their bags of product, wheels the product to the vehicle, and then loads their vehicle for them. That is what you call service! Not only do they provide this service locally, they transport box trucks to three different locations through the month to disperse meat to other communities as well.
“We love to offer services for our local ranchers. We provide a good source, and high-quality beef products at Wiley Processing,” explained the Weimers. Currently, most of the animals they are processing are raised and located in about a twenty-mile radius, which covers areas in Kiowa, Bent, and Prowers County. Community is extremely important to Josh and Jana. “Working for this small family-owned business has given not only me, but others in the community steady work and helped support local events. Our customer base is vast and being able to accommodate all customers has given the customers fresher, home-grown products, and a plethora of choices rather than big name chain stores. Being a part of something that contributes so much is a good feeling!” stated Paige Lindo, a Wiley Processing employee. Not only are they feeding locally raised beef to their community but between the two of them, they sit on the Sand and Sage Fair Board, Wiley School Board, FSA County Committee, Eads Co-Op Board, lead a 4-H Group, and coach Rec Football and Baseball. Wiley Processing participates in the 4-H Livestock Sale during the Sand and Sage Fair, gave hayrides during Christmas time last year, and provided a pumpkin patch with their own home-grown pumpkins for some of the local children. They have also paired up with one of the instructors at Lamar Community College to allow students to come out to their facility to further enhance their hands on studies. Last, but most important of all, they have provided sixteen employment opportunities for citizens in our community. Those jobs are made up of deboning, trimming, slaughtering, managing the employees, packing, labeling, weight management, payroll, cleaning, and plant management. “Family is important to us. If you coach, or your kids have ball games, or you have important events you need to be at, you go. That’s what is important!” stated Jana. At Wiley Processing they provide careers, not just jobs. “They take care of me like I’m their own. They will go out of their way to do anything for me and never ask for anything in return. I’m very blessed to have them in my life!” explained Colton Reed, a Wiley Processing Employee.
One of the largest assets of Wiley Processing is the start to finish product. Wiley Processing teams up Wiley Ranch Beef to bring their own animals into the processing plant. “It’s so unique to be able to feed the cattle your crops that you have grown, watching them grow up in front of you, then processing your own animal. You know exactly what they’ve eaten, and how they’ve grown. It’s a start to finish process. We pride ourselves in having complete control of the entire production process to ensure we deliver the highest quality products to our customers,” stated Josh. These products can be found in their facility on hand and ready to go, and you can hand pick the exact steak that you prefer. It can’t get much more customizable! They have online ordering available where you can choose a time that is convenient for you to order and pick up. That’s convenient! They also post Special Bundles with amazing deals on their Facebook Page. Keep your eyes open, because those sell out quick!
Here in the heart of Prowers County, Josh and Jana know how important beef really is! Is all this talk about beef making you hungry? Make sure you check out Wiley Processing and all the tasty products they have to offer. Wiley Processing and Prowers County truly believe, “Beef, it’s STILL what’s for dinner!”
Lamar Workforce Center
“Tiny but Mighty,” these three words can be used to describe our Lamar Workforce Center. The center is made up of four individuals all working together to solve one of the largest economic issues in the world, WORKFORCE. Jordan Schwartz works in helping with all the youth programs, Jennifer Graves works with their adult programs, Elva Macias works in the Migrating Population Program, and Don Yoxsimer works with The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
According to Population U, Colorado’s population is estimated to be about 5.87 million. Colorado has a current unemployment rate of 2.8%, that makes the unemployed population about 162,400 people. That’s a tough job for the workforce centers in Colorado. Let’s break this down a little bit! Currently, the population in Prowers County is 11,834 people. Here in Prowers County, we have an unemployment rate of 2.20%, which equals out to about 260 people in Prowers County.
Aside from helping with the unemployed workforce, they provide a large variety of free services when it comes to helping the community. These services include job listings, computer and internet access, career counseling and training for job seekers, recruitment of workers, pre-screening, referral services, tax credits and training reimbursement for employers, customers options where they can choose self-service or staff assisted options to meet their employment needs. “We have some wonderful programs that no one in the area has even tapped into yet! We have programs for nursing students who have no financial aid options. We have programs to help get the youth enrolled and started at an early age, as well as programs for individuals to have a background with a history. We can get them job ready and back into the community,” explained Jordan. The Workforce Center has several programs to help existing businesses such as Labor Market Data, customized hiring events, wage reimbursement programs, paid internship programs, targeted marketing and outreach, employer workshops, and provide the businesses with access to qualified job seekers through the Connecting Colorado Database. All these no cost services, along with more are listed on their website or can be explained in person at the Lamar Workforce Center.
From helping with resumes, to educating businesses on programs available to help with their workforce needs, The Lamar Workforce does it all. “There are so many things that are not in our job description, but we go the extra mile to do them anyways!! We try to provide the best customer service we can,” explained Jennifer. The Workforce Center is currently open Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. Jordan and Jennifer are in the process of being more active in the community, whether that be participating in school events, or simply just volunteering in the community. “We are working as hard as we can to build back our reputation. We are here, we do exist. We have so many services to offer, and we would love to help you!” concluded Jennifer and Jordan.
If you are looking for a job or are interested in advancing your career opportunity, make sure you visit Jordan and Jennifer at the Lamar Workforce Center. You can also visit the Lamar Workforce website at sites.google.com/state.co.us/seworkforce/home. “We are here to help you!” stated The Lamar Workforce Center.
Main Street Shoppe
“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two? Oh, the Candy Man can,” sang by Sammie Davis Junior has now been brought to life right in the heart of downtown Lamar Colorado by one couple. James Cline and Kelly-Ann Dewey purchased Main Street Shoppe in February 2023, but this is not their first rodeo. James and Kelly-Ann have been in the business world for about 4 ½ years now and they have hit the ground running working to transform this business.
At the Main Street Shoppe, you can find homemade candy, gourmet popcorn, and in the upcoming months there will be rolled ice cream as well. From ranch flavored popcorn, to cherry, spicy jalapeno to birthday cake, the flavor possibilities are endless! In fact, there are 70 different flavors to choose from! Truffles to lollipops, gummy butterflies to a jawbreaker you must hold with two hands! There is a unique candy to fit everyone in the house. “Our business really is one of a kind!” stated Dewey and Cline. “We are here to provide for the public a product that is reasonable priced, and really try to pull our community together. We are here to provide good service at an affordable price, and our focus is just to be kind to one another!”
Currently Kelly-Ann and James run Main Street Shoppe as a family business. They have one other employee, who is considered family, and she works 24 hours a week manufacturing, labeling, and doing most of the behind-the-scenes work. “She’s our rockstar!” exclaimed Kelly-Ann. Other than that, James and Kelly-Ann do it all. Some days they are up before the sun shines making popcorn, then working late nights to ensure the wholesale popcorn gets sent out to the customers who order online. Now, this is a whole other topic we have not even discussed yet! Yes, they do wholesale popcorn as well! The Main Street Shoppe is constantly sending popcorn across the states left and right. I bet you did not know they did that right? Not only are they shipping popcorn, but they are also shipping out manufactured packaged goods, or in other words their candy.
James and Kelly-Ann do not have much free time after running two businesses and working on the complete remodel of their newest purchase, but in their free time they are currently helping to provide foster care as well as volunteering to help with the elderly. “We really are trying to get out and about and be present in our community! Being present is what matters the most here in our little town. That and being kind to each other!” continued Kelly-Ann.
“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with Kelly-Ann DEWey, cover it with James Cline and a miracle or two with all these big changes? Oh, these two candy men can!” Make sure you stop in and visit these two and check out all the new changes coming to Main Street Shoppe! “We want to be a community shop. We are here for the community, and we want your input when it comes to what we sell You tell us what you want, we will try to produce it!” - Kelly-Ann and James
Thoughts In Bloom
Sympathy. One simple word with multiple different meanings and emotions. But for one small floral business in Prowers County, sympathy is the heart of her business. Thoughts In Bloom made its first debut on July 1st, 2004, here in Lamar, and Melissa Bohl has been blooming ever since. Literally!
Sympathy: unity or harmony in action or effect. “God gave me the talent to comfort,” stated Bohl. Sympathy isn’t just a word for the girls at Thoughts in Bloom, it’s an everyday occurrence. “We know everyone in our community, and when families come in to prepare for funerals, we will sit with tears in our eyes right alongside them,” shared Melissa. Fresh cut flowers, potted plants, greeting cards, home décor, and numerous other gifts give you plenty of options to shop for when it comes to any special occasion you may have.
Sympathy: the inclination to think or feel alike emotionally or intellectually. Did you notice there was no mention of balloons? Now let’s talk about this form of sympathy that Melissa not only has sympathy for humans, but animals and wildlife as well. According to Sustainable Jungle, balloons can take anywhere from six months to six years to start to degrade. Then to fully biodegrade, it can take fifteen years or longer. That’s a long time for balloons to float around in our environment. Aside from balloons, the vases you receive your flowers in are not recyclable. You may be wondering what do you do with them then? Well, we have the answer for you! Thoughts in Bloom offers a recycling program where you can donate all your old vases back to her and she reuses them in different arrangements. “We owe it to each other to take care of each other!” explained Melissa. By offering this recycling program and avoid balloons, she is doing just that.
Sympathy: the feeling of loyalty and the tendency to favor or support. “It takes a village!” exclaimed Bohl. When it comes to the small community of Lamar, every single customer counts. “As a business owner, I shop locally. I try my best to encourage everyone to shop local!” continued Melissa. Do you need flowers today? Do you want to have your own personal message attached? Do you want to be able to write your own card? Thoughts in Bloom can take care of all of that! You can pick your budget. You can customize your arrangements the way you want. If you want eleven red roses and one pink rose, she can do just that. You can’t get that kind of service from amazon. “Due to the logistics, I can’t make everything possible at the drop of a hat, but if you give me three weeks, I can put anything in the cooler you want!” stated Melissa.
Sympathy: an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other. Happy and sad, joy and pain, brand new jobs to retiring after 50 years, brand new babies to funerals of lifelong residents, these floral artists have loads of work to keep them working nonstop. With all this work, Melissa can’t do this all by herself. She currently has one full-time lead designer, TaNisha Graham Cfd, who works hand in hand with her and does it all. “Nisha is amazing! She knows just as much as I do!” she exclaimed. TaNisha and Melissa have both met the requirements to be classified as Certified Floral Designers. How cool is that? Joining this dynamic duo is one more girl in the beginning stages of learning the ropes of the floral industry. She is still in high school, so she gets to enjoy her Fridays off from school in the flower shop. Between these three ladies there are tasks of processing the flowers, maintaining good quality of the flowers, designing of the arrangements, care and maintenance of the plants on the showroom floor, and providing customer service by running the retail store. They really do it all! In Melissa’s free time, which isn’t much after putting in sixty-hour work weeks at times, she has put countless numbers of hours into helping build floats for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California every year and along with that has participated numerous times in the parade itself. To top it all off, in July Melissa was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers. What a wonderful achievement Melissa!
Sympathy. One simple word and multiple different meanings and emotions. Weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, prom, even your first day of work, Thoughts in Bloom has been there with you through it all. “We don’t just deliver flowers, we deliver compassion. I love what I do, and I hope everyone loves what I do!” stated Melissa. Make sure you stop in and visit the ladies down at Thoughts and Bloom when you need a personalized gift. “Expressive thoughts, beautifully portrayed.”
Cornerstone Resource Center
“Our Mission is to strengthen and empower individuals and families through connections to resources and services that develop confidence and knowledge to live successful lives and facilitate growth in our communities.”
When hearing this statement one word comes to mind: connector. If you Google synonyms for the word connector you will find words such as adapter, bond, joint, junction, link, and tie. These words all have one Prowers County business in common, The Cornerstone Resource Center. The Cornerstone Resource Center strives to support residents of Southeast Colorado in accessing the help and support that they need to grow, develop, and lead healthy lives. They currently provide basic needs assistance to individuals and families in need, as well as Family Development Services.
“Our vision is strong and resilient communities where all individuals are accepted, empowered, self-reliant and thriving.”
Currently, The Cornerstone Resource Center offers Resource and Referrals, Early Intervention, Kinship Navigation, Car Seat Safety, Parenting Classes/Support, Life Skills Classes, Babysitter Training, First Aid/CPR Training, Application Assistance, Assistance with Applying for Benefits, Mobile Unit (The Cornerstone Connector), Social Security & Disability Assistance, Family Friends and Neighbors, Child Development Activities, Basic Needs Assistance, Family Development Services, Budgeting Classes, Respite Care, Dental Education, and Support for Seniors. The Cornerstone Resource Center does everything from delivering commodities for the elderly, to hosting Santa for Seniors, which is an event where they deliver donations from the community to the seniors in the nursing homes around the holidays. The go from providing support groups for families and individuals in the community, to running a diaper program for families with small children at home who need diapers. They have so many other great programs. “We are here to help anyone; we aren’t just here for certain people!” stated Rosie Gomez.
Rosie is now the Executive Director for Cornerstone Resource Center. “I am a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child!” stated Rosie. Currently, Cornerstone employs six individuals who help add to that resource village. Michelle Harris is the Family Development Manager, Kara Downing is the Early Intervention Coordinator as well as the Early Childhood Programs Manager, Ruby Roman is the Data & Finance Coordinator, Alexandra Elwin is the Service Coordinator for the Early Intervention, and Teresa Salazar is the Front Desk Smile as well as the Family Navigator. “We wear a lot of hats,” continued Rosie. “The Cornerstone Resource Center is a safe place for individuals to come to get assistance with filling out applications, to find the recourses they may need, and to get help in navigation to programs they are looking for.” The Cornerstone Resource Center is currently located in Lamar, but with the addition of The Cornerstone Connector they are now bringing resources to Baca County, Kiowa County, and parts of Bent County. They also provide bilingual staff to help bridge any language barriers there may be in our community.
The Cornerstone Resource Center has become an adapter, a bond, a joint, a junction, a link, and a tie for our communities in Prowers County. They are truly there to help anyone and everyone. Cornerstone Recourse Center is celebrating their 3 Year Anniversary, Monday October 2nd, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm in the Cornerstone Resource Center parking lot and hope you will all come out and join in the fun!