Big Ideas in Golden (B.I.G.) Grants

This Year’s B.I.G Idea Grant Recipient:
Golden Volunteer Firefighter Art Tribute Project

In late 2021, the Golden Civic Foundation selected the Golden Fire Department’s Volunteer Art Tribute Project as the recipient of this year’s B.I.G. grant. During our Gala & Auction on November 6, the paddle raise focused on this unique community project and raised an initial $60,000 of the needed $157,000 to complete the project.

Spearheaded by Captain Tom Young, local hero and 39-year veteran of the Golden Fire Department, along with Golden volunteer firefighters, Tina Gustafson and Ben Moline, this keystone art piece, titled “Follow Your Heart,” will commemorate the hundreds of volunteer firefighters who have unselfishly volunteered (and are still volunteering) thousands of hours protecting the citizens of Golden for more than 140 years.

Check out our latest video to hear Tom’s story and learn about the proposed new public artwork that will honor generations of volunteer firefighters here in Golden.

Please consider making a donation to make this volunteer memorial come to life in Golden!

Donations can be made by check to: Golden Civic Foundation, P.O. Box 1538, Golden, CO 80402. Please place “GFD Volunteer Art Tribute Project” in memo line.

Donations can also be made online via Colorado Gives at:

About the B.I.G Grant Program

The Golden Civic Foundation is asking the Golden community to submit ideas to the Foundation to consider for Big Ideas in Golden (B.I.G.) Grants to support community projects that will make a BIG and lasting impact on the Golden community. In alignment with the Foundation’s founding purpose to “to operate for the charitable and civic purposes for the citizens and residents of the City of Golden,” the Foundation is looking for community members to submit “wish list” ideas for long-lasting projects. These ideas should be for projects that most likely will not be addressed by local, City of Golden tax funds and that will improve the quality of life for a broad base of the Golden community.

Examples of potential impact areas include:

  • Arts & Culture: Vibrant art and cultural amenities and opportunities to promote cultural enrichment and help drive the local economy (examples could include public art and theater, music or dance equipment or resources).
  • Civic Development: “Brick and mortar” type projects that provide improved amenities for our community such as improvements to a property (like a community track complex) or land, property acquisition and re-purposing for the community’s benefit (like the American Mountaineering Center).
  • Critical Needs Support: Infrastructure to give residents of all ages equitable access to opportunities for healthy living (such as social service facilities or amenities).
  • Environment: Projects that sustain a healthy local community and provide opportunities for outdoor entertainment and recreation (things like gardens, trails, parks and land preservation).
  • Other: The Foundation will consider all ideas, but preference will be placed on physical projects that will have a long-lasting impact on the quality of life for the community of Golden.

Project ideas will be reviewed and considered each summer by an Advisory Committee consisting of a Golden Civic Foundation Board of Director, a Foundation staff member and three to four independent citizens representing various areas of Golden. The favored idea(s) will be brought to the entire Golden Civic Foundation Board of Directors for review and may be selected as the Paddle Raise beneficiary at the Foundation’s Annual Gala & Auction or forwarded on for consideration as part of the Foundation’s annual “For the Good of Golden” Grant Program.

“The support from the Golden Civic Foundation from their annual Gala Paddle Raise and the generosity of the Golden community is unlike any other fundraising effort I have ever been associated with. The money raised in that one celebratory evening helped to transform our school’s upper athletic field to workable areas for football, track & field, soccer, lacrosse, and so much more. We are extremely proud of this new update to our school and welcome its use by the community when students are not on campus. I cannot express how deeply appreciative we are that GCF helped us with this project.”
Brian Conroy

Principal, Golden High School