Funding the Extraordinary Contest

Funding the Extraordinary Header

Our communities are way beyond ordinary. And we wanted to recognize those that are helping to keep it that way.

That’s why Elevations launched our Funding the Extraordinary contest – we asked innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, and good deed doers to submit their extraordinary stories. Our Facebook community voted for their favorites, and the winners have been chosen!

Congratulations to Bill K and Hana D, who each took home $5,000 to fund their extraordinary endeavors!

Thank you to everyone that submitted their stories, voted for their favorites, or supported the project!

Missed our Funding the Extraordinary Party? Check out our video.

Bill K's Story

bill-keys_profile-photo_200x200.jpgMighty Little, my 1917 typewriter, and I, have written over two thousand poems on the Pearl Street Mall. We sit out there with a sign that reads, “Poems about anyone or anything”. Passersby stop and tell us what they want a poem about. I then spark up a conversation, get a vibe on the person, their topic and intent, then write a poem personal to that. Then I recite the poem.

A lot of emotion is often shared in this process. Tears are very common; laughter always seems to be there; and there is a sincere sense of love that has many ways of expressing itself. You see, I’m very good at what I do, and what I do is listen. My intention is to give beautiful language to what I find in listening; to know how to celebrate them, their life, our life. I mean, when I’m really writing, it’s all of us that I’m writing for. It’s an intimate, and yet impersonal, conversation. It’s a beautiful bonding experience with humanity, through a simple conversation, and a simple machine, on a sweet summer night.   

This is why my poems are framed in houses all over the world, but particularly in Boulder. One woman has the last line of a poem I wrote for her tattooed on her arm; another woman has gotten eight poems from me over the past five years; one on the day she found out she was pregnant. This past season I had repeat customers every day. Sometimes it was one repeat customer after another. They use my services to entertain visitors, to mark a special time, to get a gift for a loved one, or just for the joy, and often the healing, of the poem experience.   

I graduated from the Naropa Institute in 1994 with a B.A. in a program I created myself; The Art of Monologue Performance (the one man show). I’m in the process right now of creating a show based on my twelve years of writing poems for people. There are so many stories to tell, insights to share, techniques to teach, it’s really unbelievable. I just did my first performance in many years, at Shine Restaurant on January 22nd. A lot of doors in my imagination opened up as I realized ways to continue working with the tremendous volume of material I have to share. So, that was only the beginning.   

I’m going to develop a very dynamic and rich piece(s) for the stage. It will be very entertaining, deeply sincere, and demonstrate innovation in storytelling, ‘cause that’s how I roll. Then I’m going to live a dream that was planted back in my Naropa days, of creating a fantastic piece, and taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So, I’m seeking funds to develop the piece and to travel; to develop a user friendly website and promotional tools; and to document the whole process on video. I’ve got a hundred or so poems and lots of photos and video on my website:, and even more on my Facebook page: Poems While You Wait. Thanks.

Hana D's Story

hana-d-profile-image_200px.jpgThe EPA estimates that every grocery store in the US generates about 1 ton of food waste per day, which means that locally, enough food may be thrown away to feed every homeless, hungry and at-risk individual in Boulder County.

Boulder Food Rescue (BFR) was conceived in Winter of 2011 as a result of University of Colorado research conducted by two of BFR 's founding members.  They discovered that enough food is thrown away or otherwise wasted each day to feed everyone in Boulder and Broomfield Counties who goes hungry.  In discussions with grocery stores regarding this finding, they felt that much of their composted food could not be donated to a food bank because the food was “too perishable,” i.e., in the time that it would take for the food to be picked up and taken to a warehouse, sorted, then redistributed to shelters and homes, it would have expired.  Additionally, some of the to-be-composted food could not be accepted by the area food banks because of policy restrictions.  Thus, fruits and vegetables not in original packaging are precluded from being distributed by these food banks, which amounted to thousands of pounds of nutritious food being thrown away every day.

BFR first began pickups from just one grocery store, when it was quickly discovered that virtually every local non-profit was in need for these fruits and vegetables. Since then we have swiftly increased our number of donors, recipients, and volunteers.  Our organization now picks up 7 days a week, 11 times per day from 18 different food vendors, and delivers on average 10,000 pounds of fresh, nutritious produce to 49 different organizations that serve the homeless and low-income populations every week.  To date, we have rescued over 475,000 lbs of food. Furthermore, to minimize our environmental impact we transport this food by bicycle.  Thus far, we have completed 87% of our deliveries by bike.

$5,000 would enable us to move toward financial sustainability and commit to a master plan for fundraising which will cover BFR’s operating costs in the long run.  We expect to redistribute 450,000 lbs of food in 2014, nearly doubling our current impact. For every dollar that is donated BFR will provide seven meals.