About Us

Gazette Charities Foundation-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund

The 38th annual Gazette Charities Foundation-El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund provides resources for local health and human service agencies in the Pikes Peak region on the front lines of helping people in crisis and assisting others in attaining self-sufficiency. Over the past 37 years, the Fund has raised more than $24 million. In 2020, Empty Stocking Fund exceeded its goal of raising more than the previous year and raised a record-breaking $1.5 million. The Empty Stocking Fund team hopes to raise even more during the 2021-2022 campaign season to meet the growing demand for services in our community.

The 2021-2022 campaign will be held Thanksgiving Day through January 21, 2022. 

Administrative costs are generously covered by The Anschutz Foundation, Gazette Charities Foundation, The Gazette, El Pomar Foundation, Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and Add Staff. Thanks to their contributions, 100% of the funds raised go directly to the agencies to support our neighbors in need.

Every dollar donated to the Empty Stocking Fund grows up to 45.3 percent through matching grants.

  • Bruni Foundation – Matches $1 for every $10 raised up to $70,000
  • El Pomar Foundation – Matches $1 for every $3 raised up to $200,000

One donation. 20 agencies. A whole community served.

A donation to Empty Stocking Fund can transform lives. Every dollar donated to the campaign grows up to 45% through matching funds.

Meet the Empty Stocking Fund Staff

Deb Mahan

Executive Director, Gazette Charities Foundation

Deb moved to Colorado Springs, just after college with a degree in Neuropsychology and started her career as Executive Director of Support & Recovery Ministries and Community Engagement at First Presbyterian Church. She later served as Campaign Director for a US Congressional candidate and worked in the private sector, as VP of Residential Lending and Corporate Sponsorship at Kirkpatrick Bank. Currently, her work is in philanthropy, as Executive Director of Gazette Charities Foundation, an affiliate foundation with The Anschutz Foundation, granting funds in El Paso and Teller counties.

She has served on many boards and committees in her 25 + years in the community. Among them, CASA, COPPeR (Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region), Kids on Bikes (which she helped found), Children’s Literacy Center, Ormao Dance Company, UCHealth Memorial Hospital Foundation, and Pikes Peak Community Foundation.

Deb is a dancer (modern ballet) yoga instructor (vinyasa) runner (recreational) and cyclist (road). She and her son – an NCAA Lacrosse player – love spending as much time outside as they can, in our beautiful backyard of Colorado.


Kelly Spieker

Marketing Coordinator, The Gazette/Gazette Charities Foundation

Kelly Spieker has been with The Gazette since 2012 and has worn many hats. She has worked in areas from sales, project management, digital operations, social media and is now the Marketing Coordinator for Gazette Media and Gazette Charities Foundation. In addition, Kelly is also the Executive Assistant to Gazette Media’s President and Publisher, Chris Reen, and Gazette Charities Foundation. Kelly has a significant background in advertising sales and support, customer service and administrative services. She received her degree in journalism and continues to write and copy-edit both for The Gazette’s Marketing department and in her free time.

Kelly is Gazette Media’s biggest hockey fan, supporting the Colorado Avalanche and is obsessed with all things Harry Potter. She also enjoys Forrest yoga and quiet evenings at home reading, writing, coloring and watching scary movies (and hockey games) with her husband, Matthew, and their fur-babies, Spike (dog) and Buttons (cat).


Henry Briggs

El Pomar Foundation Senior Fellow

As a Program Associate at El Pomar Foundation, Henry is excited to have the opportunity to support Empty Stocking Fund. Henry was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Fort Collins, CO. He graduated from Western Colorado University with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as a minor in biology.

While attending Western Colorado University, Henry ran cross country and track and served as an orientation leader for three years. In his free time Henry enjoys boxing, golfing, running and skiing.

Tessa Seaney

El Pomar Foundation First Year Fellow

As a Program Associate at El Pomar Foundation, Tessa is excited to have the opportunity to support Empty Stocking Fund. She is from Mead, Colorado and graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

While attending Fort Lewis College Tessa served on the New Student Orientation Leadership team and volunteered in the local community’s middle and high schools. Her time in the schools sparked a passion for youth mental health and advocacy. In her free time Tessa enjoys reading, hiking, paddle boarding and watching hockey.

Meet the Empty Stocking Fund Community Advisory Board

Craig Willis

Program Officer
Chapman Foundations Management, LLC
The Mary K. Chapman Foundation
H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust

Gary Butterworth

Chief Executive Officer
Pikes Peak Community Foundation

Jack Gurr

2nd Year MBA candidate
University of Denver

Jenny Stafford

Chief Operating Officer & Partner
SPUR Philanthropy

Kelly Shaffer


Liz Denson

Vice President of Community Engagement
Early Connections Learning Center

Matt Carpenter

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
El Pomar Foundation

Michael Greene

Business Development Manager
The Gazette

Pam Bruni

The Bruni Foundation

Rudy Vasquez

Community Involvement Manager
The Gazette

Wayne Heilman

Business Reporter
The Gazette