Our Legacy

Charles Edwin Stanton established the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in 1962 following the death of his wife May. Funds for the Foundation came from the sale of Belmar Farms in Lakewood, the current site of the Belmar Library and Belmar “downtown neighborhood.”

The Foundation Trustees carry on Mr. Stanton’s legacy through financial investments that support, enrich, and elevate art and culture in Colorado. In 1984, the Foundation established the Annual Awards Program to honor distinguished Coloradans making unique and significant contributions in the fields of Art and Culture, Community Service, and Science and Medicine. The Livingston Fellowship Program, launched in 2005, provides advanced learning and professional development opportunities for promising nonprofit leaders.

The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation has distributed more than $60 million in charitable contributions. National Philanthropy Day honored the Foundation as the 2007 Foundation of the Year in Colorado.

Timeline

Read more about the intriguing individuals who made the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation possible, and how the Foundation has evolved over the decades. Special thanks to Tom Noel, PhD, also known as “Dr. Colorado” for his research and writing contributions to this section. Dr. Noel is a Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at University of Colorado Denver.

Frederick Gilmer Bonfils (1860-1933)

Our story begins in the late 1800s with the larger-than-life character of Frederick Bonfils.
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Mary “May” Madeline Bonfils Stanton (1883-1962)

May Bonfils’ struggles began in her early 20’s when she married the first man who proposed to her.
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Charles Edwin “Ed” Stanton (1909-1987)

A dapper designer becomes May’s leading man and a major player in Denver’s early arts scene.
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Belmar

May Bonfils had one of Colorado’s finest mansions built in 1937 on 750 acres of farmland.
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The Early Years (1962-1987)

Ed Stanton established the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation to keep his beloved May’s legacy alive.
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The Middle Years (1988-2011)

The Foundation continues to build a reputation of philanthropic excellence into the new millennium.
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The Current Foundation (2012-present)

The Foundation moves into a new era of focused giving to Denver’s art and cultural organizations.
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