A late-season storm may have postponed the original Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment Unstoppable Women’s Luncheon, however that did not affect the energy in the room on May 28 as more than 300 attendees celebrated the 12 graduating KPWE scholars and Peggy Shivers, the 2019 Unstoppable Woman.
Shivers community involvement extends across the Pikes Peak Region from appearing as a guest vocalist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Colorado Springs Chorale and along with her husband, establishing the Shivers Fund at the Pikes Peak Library District to expand the African American Historical and Cultural Collection.
“You cannot imagine how amazed, how shocked I am to be standing here,” Shivers said. “I’m very honored, very surprised and very happy. But to be honest I don’t think I’ve done that much. I just feel that when you live in the community, it’s up to the people who live in that community to make that community the place you think it should be, and that’s all I’ve done.”
Contributions raised from the luncheon and additional gifts throughout the year will help support the KPWE Scholarship Program. KPWE provides financial assistance and support through a mentor for nontraditional UCCS students who have overcome a personal adversity and are returning to or starting college.
The KPWE program was established in 1996 by Karen Possehl, a Denver resident. At Tuesday’s luncheon, Possehl shared a poem she wrote to the graduates and KPWE supporters:
These ladies aren’t here for you or for me
They came to this campus wondering who they could be
It took some nerve, wasn’t easy back then
It must have seemed really quite foreign
They met each other, their mentors too
This was something they needed to do
They had help around them, weren’t really alone
This foreign campus became their own
So here they are today, all graduates new
Because people cared, people like you
It’s a gift you have given, a chance to try
They’ve earned their wings and now they can fly
They’ve had this amazing campus, each other too
But one thing important, they’ve had you
Not just your money, but your belief in them
Let me introduce your graduates, again
The KPWE Unstoppable Women’s Luncheon was made possible through the sponsorship of Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs, Ent Credit Union, El Pomar Foundation, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Pikes Peak Library District and Sara Freeman and Donald Cannella on behalf of Paonia.
Since the establishment of KPWE by Karen and Jim Possehl, and with the support of community donors, 189 scholarships have been awarded. Gifts to grow the endowment can be made online or by calling (719) 255-5100.