FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Marlena Fernández Berkowitz or Sarah Moss
Mayor’s Office, 720-865-9016
The Denver Foundation, 303-300-1790
Denver Leads the Nation as First Metropolitan Area to make Collective Donation to Washington, D.C.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
$32,619.88 collected in “Me too for Two” Challenge
DENVER—Mayor John Hickenlooper and leaders of The Denver Foundation proudly announced today that metro Denver residents continued Denver’s long history of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by becoming the first metropolitan area to collectively donate to the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.
Local citizens contributed $32,619.88 – many in $2 increments – to the “Me too for Two” challenge issued at the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in City Park in December 2006 by Hickenlooper, former State Representative Wilma Webb, and leaders of Denver’s faith community and The Denver Foundation. They asked local residents to give just $2 – or more – toward construction of the King memorial. Some “Me too for Two” donations were given anonymously while others arrived with long letters detailing the inspirations for the gifts.
“We believe this is just what Dr. King would have wanted: to have his memorial funded with small contributions from many individuals working together to make a big difference in the world,” Hickenlooper said. “We appreciate the leadership of The Denver Foundation, Safeway, former State Representative Wilma Webb and Denver’s faith congregations in helping residents of the Mile High City support the national King memorial to honor this great man and his important and enduring contributions to our society.”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is scheduled to open in spring 2008. It is the first national memorial to an African-American leader to join the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument on the National Mall. The Memorial Foundation has raised $79 million of the $100 million needed to build and maintain the Memorial.
Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation, said, “Citizens of the Mile High City have shown the nation and the world their kind hearts and commitment to Dr. King’s legacy. Denver’s donation puts us one step closer to building the dream.”
The Denver Foundation generously covered administrative costs for collecting and processing contributions from metro Denver citizens. Donation envelopes were distributed to faith communities throughout the Denver metro area and to 14 Safeway stores in the City and County of Denver.
“The Denver Foundation was honored to help Mayor Hickenlooper encourage metro Denver residents to support the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial,” said David Miller, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “This effort gave us the chance to do our part to continue Denver's tradition of honoring Dr. King, his actions, and his legacy.”
Brother Jeff Fard, Board Chair of The Denver Foundation, coined the name “Me too for Two” when donating his $2 at the December 2006 launch of the $2 challenge. “When The Denver Foundation board was approached to help, we believed that we should do more than simply operate the fund,” Fard said. “We wanted to make our own contribution as well. So we volunteered to underwrite all administrative costs. It seemed important that we, as the region's community foundation, honor all that Dr. King did to expand and renew our country's sense of community.”
Facts about the “Me too for Two” fundraising challenge:
Total donations $32,619.88
Total donors 2051
Average donation $15.90
Median donation $2.00
Largest donations $5000.00, The Safeway Foundation
Final donation $3000.00, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver, on behalf of the 1,650 fifth grade students from Denver Public Schools that participated in the YMCA Kids Marin Luther King, Jr Celebration on January 12, 2007.
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