• Bienvenidos Food Bank found Santa Claus in a Sandwich Shop

    When Even Stevens, a sandwich chain based in Salt Lake City, Utah, opened its first Colorado store near Sloan’s Lake (4245 W. Colfax Ave.) in Denver last August, it partnered with Bienvenidos and three other non-profits – Grant Avenue Street Reach, The Action Center and Sun Valley Youth Center.

    For each sandwich sold, Even Stevens provides the equivalent of a sandwich to the non-profits it serves. The non-profits have access to Sysco, the restaurant’s food distributor, where they can order sandwich ingredients at wholesale prices.

    The West Colfax store has donated more than 20,000 sandwiches since it opened in August.

    “Giving back is ingrained into our company DNA,” says Sara Day, Co-Founder and Cause Director of Even Stevens Sandwiches. “From day one we knew we wanted to provide great tasting food as well as an easy way for our customers to give back to their communities in a meaningful way. We were super excited to arrive in Colorado and start building partnerships with organizations that are experts in serving those in need – and we know we are going to have a long and fruitful relationship in the neighborhood.”

    Greg Pratt, executive director of Bienvenidos, located at 38th and Pecos Street in Denver, says the new partnership has allowed him to double the amount of fresh produce and protein each month he can provide needy families.

    Sandwich sales at the Sloan’s Lake Even Stevens store has given Pratt the ability to purchase nearly $1,000 worth of food from Sysco each month for the last four months thanks to sandwich sales.

    “Fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are the most requested items for our food pantry,” Pratt says. “Everyone wants to provide healthy food for their families and Even Stevens has given us the opportunity to do just that. We are grateful for this new and innovative approach to funding non-profits.”


    Bienvenidos Food Bank Director Greg Pratt and volunteer Sherine Dominguez

    Bienvenidos Food Bank Director Greg Pratt and volunteer Sherine Dominguez

    Bienvenidos Food Bank:

    ·       Serves nearly 10,000 Denver people annually, including 1,000 children.

    ·       Provides enough food to make more than 300,000 meals.

    ·       Gives away more than 350,000 pounds of food valued at nearly $600,000.

    ·       Is able to purchase $9 worth of food for every $1 donation. 

    Even Stevens:
    Opened its first location in Salt Lake City in 2014. It donated its millionth sandwich in January 2017 and its two millionth in November. 

    The brand now has 20 locations in Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and a Seattle location opening next week. In addition to their give back program, Even Stevens also places a high value in being a true community brand by hiring local musicians to play three days a week in their shops and sourcing products locally like Novo Coffee, Infinite Monkey Theorem wines, Epic Brewery, Renegade Brewing and Colorado Cookie Company. They have plans for further expansion in Colorado so stay tuned for a location near you!

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  • Fall 2017 West Colfax Clean-Up Day

    October 7th was a beautiful fall day in Colorado, which also represented a wonderful opportunity for neighbors and volunteers to gather together for a clean-up day in the West Colfax neighborhood, through Extreme Community Makeover. 90 volunteers from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Cuningham Group, God’s Grace Community Church, Harvest Bible Chapel, Human Services Education Organization, and WeCAN worked together to complete 1 yard clean-up project, 2 community garden clean-up projects, while also cleaning 6 alleys in the neighborhood. Thank you to everyone who participated and made an impact in helping to get a few more projects finished before the winter!


    Extreme Community Makeover (ECM) has been making in impact in the West Colfax neighborhood this year, along with seven other Denver neighborhoods. As volunteers offer helping hands to work on outside projects like yard work, painting, landscaping, trimming bushes, cleaning alleys, and a variety of other tasks, people are coming together to help their neighbors, to build stronger communities, and to have fun while working together! Here’s a glimpse into what Extreme Community Makeover has accomplished this year:

    2017 Stats:
    · 3,465 volunteers participated

    · 216 projects completed

    · 231 alleys cleaned

    · 18,290 volunteer hours invested in Denver neighborhoods

    You are also invited to the upcoming Art is in the Air event hosted by ECM on Friday, November 10 at 7:00 pm at the Artwork Network gallery (878 Santa Fe Drive). This event is the annual fundraiser for Extreme Community Makeover, but also one of their most fun events of the year! Enjoy appetizers, drinks, and desserts, along with live art and music, while checking out the items available in the raffle, silent, and live auctions. Tickets are $30 (if purchased by Fri Nov 3 at 7:00 pm), so invite some friends and neighbors to join you for a fun night supporting a great cause that is making an impact right here in your neighborhood! Get your tickets here – http://www.extremecommunitymakeover.org/art/

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  • Re-imagining play at Paco Sanchez Park!

    by Megan Yonke

    Sign at Paco Sanchez Park Renovation Groundbreaking

    Residents of the West Colfax neighborhood are in for a treat! If GO Bond funding is approved this November, plans to give Paco Sanchez a facelift will move forward. The City officially broke ground on all the planned renovations on July 27th, and I stopped by to take a brief look at what is planned. The first phase of the renovations include a play structure that I am certain will be beloved by the children of the West Colfax neighborhood.

    I arrived a little late to the official ceremony but briefly caught the address delivered by Nettie Moore and then Councilman Lopez, followed by the customary dirty-shoveling activity by City officials and youth from Girls’ Inc.

    Shovels dig in at the Paco Sanchez Park groundbreaking

    At the event, both Girl’s Inc. and the Corky Gonzales library had information tables, and families from the throughout the neighborhood were there in the hot sun, excited for what is to come.

    Interested in learning more about this project? See the recent Denverite article: https://www.denverite.com/denver-getting-started-multi-million-dollar-play-bonanza-paco-sanchez-park-32097/

    I am excited to hear thoughts from my neighbors!

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  • Lakehouse Groundbreaking

    The Lakehouse will formally break ground on June 5th!

    We in the West Colfax community treasure living at the “water’s edge” of Sloan’s Lake. We walk, run, bike and socialize with our neighbors at that edge on a daily basis. Our views around the Lake are about to change as we welcome new neighbors. When the Lakehouse receives its certificate of occupancy in July 2019 (targeted date), this real estate product will be an architectural and programmatic gem of the City of Denver. Twelve stories at its maximum height and stepping down toward the Lake, this Well-certified building will feature a fitness center and yoga studio, as well as a rooftop garden and juicing bar. There will be two floors of underground parking. Our new neighbors will pay handsomely for these high-end amenities, as well as interior finishes that some residents are procuring all the way from Italy.

    Groundbreaking at Lakehouse on May 24th

    Groundbreaking at Lakehouse on May 24th

    The two new residents I spoke with, coming from Iowa, are excited about their condo at the Lakehouse serving as their forever home in retirement. At the groundbreaking ceremony on May 24th , there was much jubilation about the uniqueness of the Lakehouse project in Denver. Attendees of the ceremony included the who’s who of the Denver real estate development world, as well as new owners of the condos. Nava Real Estate Group pulled out all the stops to celebrate. When they first arrived, attendees first marveled in the sales office over the model building and the showcase of high-end finishes, while having an opportunity to chat about the project with the construction team at GW Phillips and architecture team at RNL. A marching jazz band called all attendees to attention to launch the formal event. Attendees were first welcomed by Trevor Hines, CEO of Nava Real Estate Development, followed by Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks. Coucilman Brooks applauded the project team for taking risks in building condos, as well as supporting the building of affordable for-sale townhomes across the street, part of the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Condo projects in the City of Denver are rare, because of the history of condo-defect law in the State of Colorado, but the Lakehouse Project has proven that high-end condos can be built. As project stakeholders grabbed hard hats and shovels and began the ceremonial dig, the team lit off fireworks in the background. We are excited to welcome our new neighbors and hope they will get involved in the WeCAN organization.

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  • Alamo Drafthouse Media Tour

    The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema held a media tour and ribbon cutting ceremony on May 8th. Phil Sparr, from WeCAN's Business Outreach Committee, was on-hand to attend and report.
    The ribbon cutting attendees included: acclaimed author James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential), Walter Chaw (Alamo Denver VP of Operations), Hannah Medoff (Alamo Sloan's GM), Dave Kennedy (Alamo Sloan's Owner), and longtime neighborhood resident Nettie Moore. 
    Ribbon Cutting at Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake

    Ribbon Cutting at Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake

    Mr. Ellroy opened a bottle of champagne with a saber to commemorate the opening and then Mr. Shaw led a tour. There are 8 theaters ranging in size from 48 to 196 seats and a full service bar/patio, Barfly, which will host poetry readings, musical acts, and various community events and is dedicated to West Colfax's beat poetry past.
    Mr. Shaw expressed his hope that the community will make the theater their own and help guide its future programming.
    The theater and Barfly are located at 4255 W. Colfax Ave. and are both open for business.

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