Leslie Foster to be Inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame
Please join us as we celebrate Leslie Foster’s induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Leslie Foster, President and CEO of The Gathering Place, will be honored with a gala celebration on March 28, 2018 at the Denver Hilton City Center. The Colorado Women's Hall of Fame recognizes contemporary and historical women with significant ties to Colorado who "have made enduring and exemplary contributions to their fields, inspired and elevated the status of women and helped open new frontiers for women and society."
To commemorate this lifetime achievement, The Gathering Place declares March as Leslie Foster Month!
Support Leslie Foster Month
In honor of Leslie's recognition, we're inviting friends and supporters of The Gathering Place to support the organization she's governed for over 28 years.
- Donate. We depend on individual donations to cover the programs and services we provide to members free of charge. Donate to The Gathering Place in honor of Leslie.
- Volunteer. The Gathering Place depends on volunteers to help run the vast programs and services we offer. In 2017, volunteers donated 15,000 hours to help serve the 7,126 women, children, and transgender individuals who walked through our doors. Sign up to volunteer with The Gathering Place in honor of Leslie.
- Sponsor a meal. Sponsoring and preparing a meal for members of The Gathering Place is the best way to immerse yourself in our community. Gather a group of friends, family, or colleagues and work with our Food Program Manager to plan your meal.
- Host a donation drive. In-kind donations of food, toiletries, and clothing provide immediate relief to members in need. Host a donation drive at work, with an organization, or with family and friends.
- Write a tribute note to Leslie. Show your Love for Leslie by penning a note of congratulations to be displayed on our website. Email your message to Digital Fundraising and Communications Manager Jenny Scrivens at email@example.com, or mail it to our address at 1535 High Street, Denver, CO 80218.
- Shop at Art Restart. Art Restart is a social enterprise of The Gathering Place that provides opportunities for women experiencing poverty to transform their lives through art. Artists work toward financial independence through proceeds from sales of their artwork. Shop Leslie's favorite postcards and scarves!
- Tell a friend. Share the story of The Gathering Place and Leslie Foster's induction into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame by sending an email or posting on social media.
Leslie Foster has served as president of The Gathering Place since 1990. For nearly 30 years, Leslie has devoted her career to transforming the lives of women, children, and transgender individuals by providing positive relationships, resources, and a community of support. Under Leslie's guidance, The Gathering Place community has steadily expanded to meet growing public need. The organization now serves 250-350 people a day, a population 10 times the 25-35 people it served during its founding years.
Leslie was born to work at The Gathering Place— at least that's what she likes to say. The very first house she lived in is only blocks from where The Gathering Place now resides. Leslie briefly left Colorado to attend Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, where she set her sights on becoming a nonprofit director. After completing her undergraduate education, and with her nonprofit leadership goal in mind, she returned to Colorado and earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1985.
In 1989, Leslie discovered The Gathering Place, at the time a grassroots organization supporting women and families experiencing poverty. She was the first full-time development director. As it would turn out, her stint as development director was short-lived— Leslie was hired as the executive director just six months later.
Under Leslie's leadership, TGP has grown from an organization with an annual budget of $200,000 in 1990 to its current $2.5 million budget and over $7 million in assets. In 2006, Leslie led an ambitious capital campaign to build a facility designed to meet the specific needs of its members. The campaign raised over $5 million, and by September 2007, boasted a 28,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility maximizing every inch of space to provide members with a safe refuge and a place to rebuild their lives. The Gathering Place also launched a social enterprise called Art Restart in 2014 as a way to advance opportunities for artist members and create a supplemental source of revenue for the organization.
Despite the exponential growth Leslie has fostered and overseen, she is most proud that the essence of TGP's mission has remained intact. "We believe deeply in the power of our community and continually work to make it stronger. Our key values include recognizing individual strengths, building respect and trust, and offering unconditional acceptance."
Leslie's influence extends beyond the walls of The Gathering Place. She is a partner and founding member of the Denver Women's Collaborative, which brings together leaders of nine high-impact organizations serving women and girls to form a collective voice for advocacy, funding, and programming in Denver.