Mine royalty will be spent on charities, nursing scholarship

One nursing student a year and eight Grand Valley charities will benefit from a donation of a mine royalty to the Western Colorado Community Foundation.

The royalty donation by Ellen Jo Waldeck has no precise value because it depends on the value of the mine’s production at any given time, but it has been estimated at $8.5 million to $13 million by an independent appraiser, said Anne Wenzel, president and executive director of the foundation.

When the foundation’s royalty comes in, it will first fund a full-ride scholarship to a nursing student at Mesa State College, Wenzel said.

Waldeck was a nurse, as was one of Waldeck’s daughters, Wenzel said.

Two-thirds of the remaining fund will be put into a permanent fund, and one-third will be distributed to Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, Homeward Bound, Mesa County Partners, Habitat for Humanity, Marillac Clinic, Latimer House, Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado and Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

The charities were chosen for their missions to meet basic human needs in the Grand Valley, Wenzel said.

Waldeck, 86, and her family decided to donate the royalty interest in the mine when they looked at the size of the estate built up by her late husband, Bill, said Susan Diaz, Waldeck’s daughter.

“None of us needed that money,” Diaz said.

The family chose the charities after speaking with professionals at the Department of Human Services and elsewhere, Diaz said.

Although they might otherwise have chosen to make the donation anonymously, Waldeck and her family decided to announce the gift in the hope of inspiring other donations.

“We do hope it will spur other people” to make similar donations, Diaz said.

Waldeck, a Denver native, has lived most of her life in Grand Junction, she said in a statement.

“I’ve had a good life, and there are so many people out there with lots of needs, especially nowadays,” she said in the statement. “I wanted to set up something for those in need.”

The Western Colorado Community Foundation “will be around long after I’m gone and be able to manage this gift in accordance with my intentions,” she said.

Information about the Waldeck nursing scholarship as well as other scholarships and gifts managed by the Western Colorado Community Foundation is available on the Web at http://www.wc-cf.org.


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