EL PASO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
EL PASO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. The El Paso Community Foundation, established in 1977, is an independent, publicly supported, nonprofit philanthropic organization based in El Paso. As a community foundation, it manages a permanent collection of endowed funds for the benefit of its geographic area. In the early 1990s its assets stood at $23 million. In 1991 a bequest from media businessman Karl O. Wyler, Sr., gave a majority holding of stock in several television and radio stations to the Community Foundation's affiliated foundation, the Glyn Wyler and Karl O. Wyler, Sr., Foundation. The El Paso Community Foundation's fourteen-member board of trustees reflects the demographic makeup of the area, which is predominantly Hispanic; in 1992 six of the board members were Mexican nationals or Mexican Americans. The foundation staff includes a president, two vice presidents, a development director, an accountant, a bookkeeper, and a secretary. The foundation is closely connected to Mexico: each year it receives substantial donations from Mexican citizens, and its trustees make grants to projects on both sides of the border. Janice Windle, foundation president during the early 1990s, held that its internationalism was inevitable in El Paso's geographic context. In the early 1990s foundation emphases included education and environmental protection. A major endeavor was the Lower Valley Water Authority Project. The project, implemented under the auspices of the foundation, five local banks, and the El Paso County Lower Valley Water District Authority, provides loans to residents of colonias on the outskirts of El Paso to be spent on obtaining access to clean water. The foundation makes its grants "to protect and enhance the unique resources of El Paso-its diversity of race and culture, its richness of artistic creation and appreciation, and the beauty and quality of its desert: land, air and water, so that these resources may be enjoyed now and in the future."