The 2023 Rural Philanthropy Days Conference was a success with over 350 individuals descending on Durango for three days of networking, touring local areas, and learning about the needs of southwest nonprofits. Four students from Durango High School and Big Picture High School will join the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education this fall, and Durango ranks 72nd in a list of 175 alternative romantic destinations. You’re watching the “Local News Roundup”, brought to you by The Payroll Department and Sky Ute Casino. I’m Wendy Graham Settle. From June 7th through June 9th, grantmakers, elected officials, community leaders, nonprofit professionals, and featured speakers took part in the 2023 Rural Philanthropy Days Conference, hosted by the Community Resource Center. Founded in 1981, the Community Resource Center provides support and aims to strengthen change-makers across the Colorado nonprofit ecosystem to create a more equitable state. At this year’s conference, held once every four years in Southwest Colorado, a team of 40 regional leaders worked together with the Community Resource Center on a steering committee geared toward creating connections between regional nonprofits and statewide funders. Organizations and representatives came from Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties, the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute tribes, and 70 grantmakers from the front range. The last southwest conference in 2018 led to an increase in funding to local organizations by 36 percent, and 11 of the core funders of Rural Philanthropy Days alone contributed 22 million dollars to southwest nonprofits from 2016 through 2020. This August, four students from Durango and Big Picture High Schools will join the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education as student board members. The student board member opportunity benefits students by giving them the chance to represent their peers and step into leadership roles, as well as enabling the board to hear directly from the students. Rising sophomore, Mia Sholes, and rising junior, Heidi Clay, will join the board from Durango High School. And rising seniors, Michaela Richardson and David Fitzgerald from big Picture High School met with board members on June 9th and will begin their duties this fall as the school year begins. Durango certainly has a lot to boast in terms of outdoor activities and breathtaking landscapes, and these have helped land Durango on yet another top destination list. According to a survey by Honeymoon Always, Durango is one of three alternative romantic destinations in Colorado. At 72nd on a list of 175 places across the United States, Durango stood out for its mountainous landscapes, the Animas Riverwalk, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and the ample outdoor activities. The other two Colorado destinations on the list include Telluride at 64th and Crested Butte at 99th. Learn more about these and other stories online at durangolocal.news. Thank you for watching this edition of the “Local News Roundup”. I’m Wendy Graham Settle.