Matching Charitable Giving With Your Goal
Angel Fire Community Foundation has a rich history in the Moreno Valley. Originally named the Angel Fire/Southern Moreno Valley Community Corporation (AF/SMVCC), the AF/SMVCC was formed in March 1978 as the first non-profit corporation in the valley. The original name came from a topography lesson—the boundaries of the fire district stretched over both the Village of Angel Fire and the southern end of the Moreno Valley.
Before a town entity was created in 1985, residents needed medical and fire services to protect their way of life. A gentleman named Jack Stromberg passed away in the Moreno Valley in 1978 because of the lack of emergency medical services, and after his death the Stromberg Family was integral in the funding and creation of the AF/SMVCC. The AF/SMVCC met the community’s needs in two ways. First it raised funds for necessary services, and second it accepted tax-exempt donations for entities under its non-profit umbrella, including the Stromberg Memorial Center, the Angel Fire Library, the Angel Fire Fire Department, Angel Fire Search and Rescue, Angel Fire EMTs, and the Chapel. All donations are dedicated to promoting and providing charitable, religious, scientific, educational, and literary services to the community and for the protection, health, safety, and general well-being of area residents and property owners. The AF/SMVCC’s goal is to work toward planning for future needs of the area and coordinating efforts to fulfill those needs, act as a tax-exempt custodial body for the organizations under its umbrella, and receive and disburse monies from fund drives
The year 1978 also marks the first year of the successful Annual Dinner and Live Auction, an excellent fundraiser for the Foundation and well received by the community. In 1981, the AF/SMVCC was integral in establishing the annual Flea Market, which is now the Shuter Library of Angel Fire’s “Trash to Treasures” event and money maker. In 1984, local contractors volunteered to construct a home at cost which the Foundation would then offer for sale; this venture brought in more needed funds for the community.
After 1984, the AF/SMVCC went to ‘sleep,’ so to speak, and left the fundraising enterprises to the umbrella entities. Board meetings were held twice a year or so through 1995, at which point the AF/SMVCC was faced with the critical question of whether to dissolve or revive. And that’s when things got exciting again. In 1995, President Bruce Lawrence, elected in 1992, gathered a group of interested people and a new Board was elected, including current
President Stan Harrell.
Beginning in 1995, the AF/SMVCC’s activities picked up again in full force. Over the next three years, the Foundation received a variety of donations from area groups and created the “Adopt A Fireman” Fund and the “Ice Rescue Equipment” Fund. It also made a number of grants for area improvement, such as a grant for playground equipment at the Angel Fire Community Center. In 1999, after it was apparent the library was outgrowing its space at the Stromberg Memorial Center, Angel Fire Resort donated land for a new library building, and the Foundation created the “Love Your Library” Fund, aptly named such by former Board Director and Treasurer Martha Lassetter. The Shuter Library of Angel Fire and its volunteers moved into the new building in 2002. That same year, Rebecca McCracken joined the Board as Secretary and breathed new life into the Foundation.
The Board’s talk between 2002 and 2007 focused on where the Foundation was going and how it would get there. The Board began discussions with the New Mexico Community Foundation regarding collaboration and formalized their agreement in 2008. In the spirit of rejuvenation, the name was formally changed from the Angel Fire/Southern Moreno Valley Communication Corporation to Angel Fire Community Foundation (“the Foundation”) in June 2008. Former Directors Charles Wilson and Treasurer Bill Mason were elected to the Board in 2004. Barbara Cottam joined in 2008. After expanding the Board from seven to nine directors in 2009, and the tragic loss of Rebecca McCracken, a devoted Board member, the Board nominated Bonnie Bowles, Jim Trott, and Richard Moore to fill the vacant positions. In January 2010, Margaret Van Antwerp was nominated to fill the final vacant position.
Following Rich Hill's resignation, Guy Wood was nominated to the board in the fall of 2010. In December 2011, Cynthia Collier replaced Bonnie Bowles, who moved away.
Sally Sollars joined the Board in 2016 to fill Bill Mason's position. Heather Jackson joined the Board in 2017 to fill Charles Wilson's position.
The Foundation manages the Loving Family Memorial, which focuses on improved health for Moreno Valley residents. The Memorial is a vibrant donor-advised fund that most recently matched funding for two new heart monitors for the Village of Angel Fire.
The Foundation also manages the Rebecca McCracken Memorial Fund, which focuses on education and childrens activities in the Moreno Valley.
The Angel Fire and Moreno Valley communities have come a long way since 1978. The Foundation is proud to continue being an active partner in offering donors a number of flexible, efficient, and rewarding ways to accomplish their charitable giving. The Foundation works with attorneys and financial advisors to assist their clients with incorporating charitable giving into their financial and estate plans.
Through the generosity of many people in Angel Fire and the greater area, the Foundation supports the Valley’s best nonprofits and the extraordinary people who make our community a great place to live.