Please join me in thanking BP America and Curtis Thomas, its director of public affairs, for helping protect and preserve early childhood education and care services currently being provided to 73 local children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.
La Plata County owes a debt of gratitude to BP America and Thomas for a recent $25,000 donation to Riverhouse Childrens Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit child care and early education center serving 41 percent low- to moderate-income children that has been operating on Animas View Drive since 2002.
It became evident in late December 2009 that Riverhouse apparently had been operating at a significant deficit for years. It was struggling to survive, contending with exorbitantly high overhead, tuition rates far lower than La Plata County averages, and mounting debt.
Riverhouse made great strides between January and September 2010. For the first time since its inception, Riverhouse presented audited financial statements. Cheers for Children, generously hosted by the Glacier Club in June, netted approximately $20,000. Additional 2010 fundraisers netted about $10,000. Riverhouse had successfully increased its net fundraising revenue by more than 6,000 percent between 2009 and 2010 and expanded the number of local businesses, individuals and corporations pledging support from fewer than a dozen to more than 100.
But by late October 2010, it was clear these efforts were not enough. If the center had been forced to close its doors, 143 working parents would have lost access to child care, 11 teachers would have found themselves unemployed and 37 families on the wait list would have been unable to get future care.
After learning about Riverhouses evolving mission, the immediate impact on local families, the 2010 fundraising efforts and being alerted to the schools financial predicament, BP America pledged $25,000 to directly benefit the Riverhouse early care and education program.
If you have questions or would like to personally thank BP America for making one of the largest corporate contributions to early care and education in La Plata County history, please e-mail Riverhouse Director@gmail.com, or visit our website at www.Riverhousecci.org.
Amy Miranda De Prospo, executive director, Riverhouse Childrens Center