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Rollie R. Kelley was a successful businessman and entrepreneur who lived a life of charity with a strong sense of duty to the community.

In the early 1990s he had a dream to create an entity that would continue this philosophy long after he was gone. From this dream, the Rollie R. Kelley Family Foundation was born in 1994. In addition to life-long service to the YMCA, Shrinersand Civitan International, Mr. Kelley served as a trustee to the Iliff School of Theology and his alma mater, Dakota Wesleyan University. Mr. Kelley passed away in September of 1999.

Administered by his three children, the Foundation seeks to continue Mr. Kelley’s pursuit of enhanced business and cultural education in the Rocky Mountain region. To that end, the Foundation has contributed regularly to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Colorado Council on Economic Education, Junior Achievement, and the Iliff School of Theology, among others.

As a 33rd degree Mason, Mr. Kelley also worked with the Scottish Rite Foundation and Children’s Hospital to create a program to help children with communicative disorders. After Mr. Kelley’s death, his Foundation joined with the Schlessman Family and Scottish Rite Foundations to establish The Kelley Family/Schlessman Family Scottish Rite Masons Chair in Childhood Language Disorders in the hospital’s Speech and Audiology Department.

Grants from the Rollie R. Kelley Family Foundation Fund typically range from $1,000 - $5,000. The 2019 Application for the Rollie R. Kelley Family Foundation Fund will be by invitation only. 

The 2019 deadline was by invitation only and was on Tuesday September 3, 2019. Please click here for the 2019 Guidelines and Application. The next deadline will be in 2020.

Applications are open to organizations that meet the below general criteria within the seven-county Metro Denver area (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson). Grants are occasionally awarded to organizations outside of Metro Denver.

  • Programs delivering and improving economic education
  • Programs providing behavioral health services
  • Programs serving children’s health
  • Programs serving youth and families at risk
  • Programs serving inner-city ministries
  • Programs improving the cultural quality of life

Awards will be made in March of each year and must be used within 12 months.

Please email with any questions.