Friends of the Gilpin County Community Center

The Friends of Gilpin County Community Center (FGCCC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation and Colorado Charitable Corporation made up of citizens of Gilpin County, Colorado who support the mission of the Gilpin County Community Center and its vital position in the life of our mountain community. We provide Gilpin County Parks and Recreation department members with research and community feedback.

About 95 percent of our work and funding is directed toward working with the Center to acquire equipment, plan and fund specific recreation and social programs and activities, and help Gilpinites in need gain access to the Center’s programs. We’ve done this since our incorporation in 2020. We also do outreach to help inform the public about the P&R Department, its activities, budget, and funding.

You can read more about our activities since 2020 in our three-year report.

Since our founding, we have acted as an auxiliary (in much the same way that HCA does for Timberline and the Boosters do for Gilpin School) to support activities at the Center, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Late 2020-early 2021: Planning (with the director) for reopening after the pandemic shutdown was eased (the center reopened spring of 2021);
  • In late 2020 and early 2021, we provided extensive research to help P&R define its post-shutdown re-opening budget and fee structure. We also researched and vetted software options for P&R’s day-to-day operation.
  • In early 2021, we created a video explaining the pandemic-related safety measures visitors had to take in order to use the center.
  • Spring 2021: Center cleanup. FGCCC joined with the P&R staff to get the center ready for the late spring reopening after pandemic shutdown was eased;
  • In 2021, FGCCC worked with the Center Director to get the center registered to offer three Medicare-related senior programs: SilverSneakers, RenewActive, and Silver&Fit (we contacted officials at each program on behalf of the Center);
  • We conducted a survey of Gilpin citizens in 2022 and 2024 regarding the kinds of activities they’d like to see at the Center. We shared the results with the P&R Director to aid the department in planning future activities and programs.
  • 2021, 2022, 2023: Gilpin County Fair. FGCCC participated in planning, and execution of the Fair (as volunteers), set up a table for our group; we are part of the planning committee for the 2024 fair; as part of our support for the 2022 fair, we paid for the rental of a bouncy house for kids to play in during the Fair;
  • 2021, 2022, and 2023: Gilpin County Spooky Stroll/Spooky Trick and. FGCCC supplies hot drinks, volunteered for kids’ games supervision, and participated in planning;
  • 2021, 2022, and will be for 2023: Winter Arts Festival. This is a two-day arts festival with local vendors, activities for kids, and holiday entertainment for adults. FGCCC participates in planning, supplies refreshments, sponsors such things as Santa and face-painting;
  • 2022, 2023: Water Safety Days. Paid for swimming and safety instructors to teach Gilpin youth about water safety; we will be doing so again in 2024;
  • 2022, 2023: GetFit Day. We paid for refreshments, we gave away water bottles; we plan to do this again in 2024;
  • 2023: Farmer’s Market. We sponsored facility rental for organizers from April through October and set up a table with information about us;
  • 2021, 2022, 2022: Star Parties. Offered at the Center. In 2023 we did this in coordination with Golden Gate State Park; we are soliciting grants for 2024 to offer an outdoor education program for families in stargazing and astronomy;
  • October 2023: We met with officials (including State Attorney Philip J. General Weiser) in October 2023 as part of a listening session with the AG to discuss ways our county can combat rising drug addiction. Our interest is to involve recreational activities for kids and families in the effort.
  • October 2023: participated in First Responder’s Day at the Center
  • Earlier in 2023, we purchased equipment for the Center in the form of a bouncy obstacle course for use indoors or outdoors. The funds for that came from directed donations restricted for such use. We have an MOU with Gilpin County to cover the transfer of funds/equipment to the County’s ownership. We’ve also contributed for purchases of other materials for use in youth programs.
  • We are currently working on a video introducing new Gilpin residents to the Center and its classes and activities.
  • For 2024 we are involved in a Center Cleanup Day, Water Safety Classes for kids, the Fair, and much more.

We regularly volunteer on activity committees, such as the Fair Committee, and are working with the P&R director to create a sustainable volunteer program at the center. Just in 2023 alone, our core group, plus a volunteer squadron we recruited for the Fair, have volunteered nearly a thousand volunteer hours across all activities we’ve been involved with for the Center.

We offer a Heart of the Community Fund to help people who can’t afford the Center get access to it. Through that, we’ve funded a number of Gilpinites with those needs and also connected some of them with other programs in the county for food relief, rental costs, etc.

These and other support activities make up the majority of our work. A small percentage of our time is devoted to outreach about issues that affect the Center and Department.

Our officers and members are all volunteers. We range across the political spectrum and our main goal is to support the Center and P&R Department.

FGCCC is also planning long-range sustainable funding of our Community Center campus programs. This includes finding grants for new and continuing programs, as well as working on the creation of a Parks and Recreation District in the future.

Our Members

Organizationally the FGCCC is composed of a Board of Directors that oversees the work of the group. We also have a Board of Advisors.

Think of us as a “support arm” non-profit working on long-term solutions to Community Center challenges and use. We can apply for grant funding, solicit commercial support, and advise the county on issues of importance to the Community Center’s use and future. We can do voter education on ballot issues related specifically to P&R and the Community Center to inform and educate the public. We are not allowed to speak out on behalf of any political party or candidate; our outreach is solely limited to issues specific to the object of our mission.

Board of Directors
President and Press ContactCarolyn Collins Petersen
Vice PresidentJohn Bryan
TreasurerSusan Yeck
SecretaryCurrently vacant
Functional Operations
CorrespondenceCarolyn Collins Petersen

WebmasterSteve Schwettman
FundraisingBoard Members
Volunteer Task Force Marilyn Ashmore
Board of DirectorsJohn Bryan
Eric Douglas
Carolyn Collins Petersen
Susan Yeck
Advisory Board
Marilyn Ashmore
Virginia Baer
Elisabeth Dow
Karen Eye
Phillip Gibbs
Roxy Goss
Norma Jones
Carol Mirarck
Sarah Swanson

Mission Statement

In concert with the Gilpin County Parks and Recreation Department, the mission of the Friends of the Gilpin County Community Center is to enrich the lives of Gilpin County residents by providing opportunities to gather, celebrate, and engage in activities that promote health, education, and community.


  • Continue to maintain and enhance the Community Center as a Focal Point for:
    • Celebrations such as Christmas Holiday Crafts Fair, dances and birthday parties
    • Gatherings like the County Fair, High Country Auxiliary Silent auction/chili dinner, fundraisers, 4H, and election polling.
  • Promote and evolve the Community Center as a Multi-generational Resource supporting:
    • Youth programs including after-school, 4H, athletics, aquatics and summer programs
    • Adult programs such as pottery, quilting, yoga, athletics and aquatics
    • Senior programs from senior lunches, transportation, senior exercise and shopping
  • In conjunction with the Colorado State University extension office build and bolster the Community Center as an Educational and Information resource providing:
    • the community garden
    • CPR training
    • evacuation training
    • forestry education
    • mountain gardening
    • noxious weeds mitigation
    • Wildfire preparedness training
  • Maintain and keep ready the Community Center as an Emergency Shelter that is:
    • Red Cross approved
    • ADA Compliant
    • Ready for animal rescue through GCART
  • Improve and better the Community Center as a Recreational Facility for activities such as baseball, basketball, children’s playgrounds, equestrian arena and barn, hiking trails, martial arts, pickle ball, soccer, softball, volleyball, plus much more
  • The FGCCC will also act as a support organization for the Community Center providing input on programming, management, finance and enhancements
  • Finally, the FGCCC will act as a grant-seeking and fundraising group for future programs to be held at the Campus.

Donations to and sponsorships of FGCCC will go to support its activities that enhance and sustain our Community Center. This includes outreach activities regarding the future of the Community Center and its programs. Our officers are currently volunteering their time and efforts and do not receive pay for their volunteer work. Our administrative costs are very low; we aim to spend most of our money on the above-mentioned programs and activities.

We offer a newsletter for further information about our activities. To be put on our mailing list (it is opt-in), please contact us at: friends@gilpincommunitycenter.org