The future of Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods

Neighborhood advocates celebrate 50 years with new projects

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Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods celebrated 50 years last month and announced several new projects that will move it into the future.

The anniversary party was held at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Sept. 18. Community restaurants offered small selections from their menus and there was a silent auction to help fundraise for the registered neighborhood organization. The organization estimated that the event raised more than $30,000 for CHUN.

Travis Leiker, president of CHUN’s board, also announced several new initiatives for the organization.

As Denver continues to grow, CHUN board members are pushing to become more inclusive of the diverse community it represents. The board officially adopted its diversity statement in August. The full statement can be read here: https://bit.ly/2kRSMml.

CHUN represents around 100,000 people, Leiker said at the event. The organization’s boundaries are from 22nd Avenue to First Avenue and from Broadway to Colorado Boulevard.

CHUN also launched two new initiatives, One Little Kindness and SEED awards. One Little Kindness will recognize people doing good deeds in the community. The project is in partnership with Mark Whistler, who owns the Goods Restaurant on Colfax Avenue.

The SEED awards will promote entrepreneurship within CHUN’s borders, Leiker said. SEED awards will be given under these categories: Smart, solutions-oriented development; Enrichment through educational programming and other lifelong learning opportunities; Environmental sustainability and combating climate change at the neighborhood level; and Diversity efforts and projects fostering an inclusive community.

Lastly, Leiker announced a renovation project that will build the Tears-McFarlane House into a community center. The building is 120 years old. CHUN has owned the building for the last 15 years.

The building recently became a funding avenue for CHUN, which rents out office space in the building. Leiker added that CHUN will continue to let other nonprofits host events at the building free of charge.

“The ultimate goal is to make it a jewel of the neighborhood where people can gather – have a cup of coffee, have a glass of wine, hear a lecture, host a special event,” Leiker said. “We need to give this 120-year-old immense responsibility, but also wonderful property, the tender loving care that it actually deserves and needs.”

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