Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund

Jessica Ridgeway at Cheer Camp 2012

As a bubbly, energetic 10-year-old, Jessica Ridgeway wanted to be a cheerleader. Now, the Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund will help fund cheer camps and other animal and youth initiatives in her honor.

When Jessica went missing, her family approached their longtime credit union, Community Financial Credit Union (CFCU), to set up an account for incoming donations. Members of the community wanted to donate money to help with the search effort and needed a place to donate.

The money was still in the account after police arrested the suspect. The Ridgeways didn’t want to keep the money. They wanted to give back to their community in some way.

To set up a long-term fund, the credit union connected the family with the Broomfield Community Foundation. To augment the donations that trickled in during the search for Jessica, the credit union donated $10,000 to the new Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund from their Member Bonus Pay It Forward program. This money will serve as seed money to help start Jessica Ridgeway’s Legacy.


In December 2012, the Broomfield Community Foundation approved the new donor-advised fund – the Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund.

A donor-advised fund is a cost effective, stress free way for the Ridgeways to create their foundation with the help of an existing foundation. It’s easy to establish, low cost, and flexible compared to starting a private foundation on our own.

The Broomfield Community Foundation partners with donors to serve their community, providing resources and opportunities for organizations to grow stronger and make a positive difference within our community. The Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund will be able to take advantage of the administrative convenience, cost savings, and tax advantages associated with the Broomfield Community Foundation.

The Broomfield Community Foundation will handle everything from paperwork to thank-you notes to donors. This will allow the Ridgeways to focus on Jessica’s legacy instead.

Because the Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund is housed in a public charity (Broomfield Community Foundation), their foundation will receive the maximum tax deduction available, while avoiding excise taxes and other restrictions imposed on private foundations.

Jessica Ridgeway’s Legacy foundation will not incur the cost of establishing and administering a private foundation, including staffing and legal fees. Since the maximum tax deduction is received by the foundation at the time of the gift, the Broomfield Community Foundation will gain full control over the contributions, granting the Ridgeways advisory status.

The Broomfield Community Foundation is not legally bound to Jessica Ridgeway’s Legacy. However, they will make grants from the Jessica Ridgweay Legacy Fund that are approved by the Ridgeways and will honor Jessica’s memory by supporting community programs for youth initiatives including camps and scholarships for children in Jessica’s community.

Jessica’s mother, Sarah Ridgeway, Jessica’s grandmother, Christine Ridgeway, and Jessica’s aunt, Rebecca Ridgeway will serve as the main points of contact for the account, but the whole Ridgeway family will be involved in decision making.

This summer the Ridgeways plan to start a week-long cheer camp for boys and girls ages 6 to 12 with the Jessica Ridgeway Legacy Fund.

Jessica was excited to go to a cheer camp that cheerleaders from Standley Lake High School had put together. Jessica loved it – she said it was the best time of her life.

Though a cheer camp is likely the first order of business, the Ridgeways will work together to find other deserving organizations and events that fit the spirit of Jessica’s caring and cheerful personality.

Through Jessica Ridgeway’s Legacy, the Ridgeways hope to support community programs for years to come.

How to Donate

Jessica Ridgeway’s Legacy Posts

The Broomfield Community Foundation

Broomfield Enterprise

CBS 4 News