Zozobra Did Good in 2020 - SantaFe.com
Zozobra close up

In 2020, Zozobra for the first time burned without a large live audience. Instead, Old Man Gloom’s fiery end was shared online and was viewed by 363,773 households in all 50 states and 14 other countries, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe reports.

Read about the 2021 Zozobra art contest here.

Here’s an update about the good this gloomy Gus did in the Santa Fe area from the Kiwanis Club.

Despite the daunting challenges of COVID-19, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe was able to transfer the hard-won net proceeds of the 96th Burning of Zozobra to fund our annual grants program!
In March 2021, the Santa Fe Downtown Kiwanis Foundation made grants of $4,000 each to 11 area nonprofits whose mission mirrors that of Kiwanis — to give children the opportunity to live in communities that believe in them, nurture them, and provide the support they need to thrive.
Every application for assistance was very worthy, and each request was thoroughly examined as the Foundation Board of Directors worked to determine the greatest impact Zozobra 2020 could achieve after an event that had no ticket sales, the engine that normally drives our grants cycle.
Foundation President Stuart Hamilton says, “The Kiwanis Foundation Board and the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe take great pleasure in distributing the proceeds from our televised and web-streamed Zozobra. Through the hard work of our members and the generosity of the community, each recipient received a grant of $4,000. We look forward to the good work that these funds will support.”
The 2020 Burning of Zozobra was hard work but the Santa Fe Kiwanis didn’t fool around — we burned the gloom as usual, and we’re honored to help the following programs make a difference in the lives of local youth.
  • Esperanza Shelter: Esperanza Shelter will be creating welcome backpacks and purchasing pack-and-play cribs and combo car seat/strollers for children who enter their emergency shelter.
  • Cooking with Kids: This award-winning program will help students explore, prepare and taste fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural traditions in a fun and supportive setting to positively change eating behaviors, increase home cooking practices, and help engage students in creative and cross-disciplinary ways.
  • The Sky Center/Suicide Intervention Project: Funds will be used to support an 8-month training program for Natural Helpers at local Santa Fe schools, creating a diversified group of students trained to be catalysts of change in their school community by working in a resiliency enhancement and suicide prevention program for middle school youth to promote health and well-being for school communities.
  • St. Elizabeth’s Shelter/Casa Familia: Funds will support Casa Familia services for some of our community’s most desperate children, whose low-income families have become homeless and require immediate emergency shelter, and who are at serious risk for developmental, physical and behavioral health problems.
  • Girls, Inc. of Santa Fe: The grant will allow Girls, Inc. to continue to respond to requests for services by maintaining their staff and adapt their programming to an online format, create new curricula to address the girls’ changing needs, deliver their programs to a diverse population, and find additional resources for girls and their families.
  • El Rancho de Las Golondrinas: Funds will be used to support the ongoing Spanish Colonial Days and other Education and Outreach opportunities for New Mexico children and teens.
  • Gerard’s House: The “You Are Not Alone” program is a weekly, ongoing peer grief support group for youth ages 12-18 temporarily staying in emergency housing in safe, creative and welcoming environments that encourage dialogue for teens experiencing homelessness.
  • Solace Crisis Treatment Center: Funds will be used to help make advocates available to help locate and facilitate support services for families in dangerous circumstances.
  • YouthWorks: Funds will be used to assist their Culinary Training program with additional expenses due to COVID-19 and address safety measures, food requirements and additional staffing for an invaluable program serving thousands of children, youth and families.
  • Reading Quest: Funds will help support a two-week “Reading is Magic” summer camp to be held in July 2021, celebrating the 10th year of this very successful camp program, which will be offered in person or online as was done last summer.
  • Youth Shelters and Family Services: Funds will support the purchase of cell phones and Chromebooks for young clients to further their case management, education, and employment opportunities.
Even without a live audience, Zozobra went up in smoke as usual, and Kiwanis members are savoring the heartwarming knowledge that Santa Fe’s most gloomy citizen once again did something good for our community!
Mark your calendar for the 97th Burning of Zozobra on Friday, September 3, 2021.
This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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