Columbine High School Rebuild
A group of Columbine victim family members have given approval to a go-go club magnate’s $1 million stock donation to help build a new library at Columbine High School.
“I’m honored they allowed me to be part of such a great cause,” said Troy Lowrie, who owns three local topless bars and seven others nationwide.
The family members, who make up the group Healing of People Everywhere, or HOPE, accepted the donation at a Wednesday meeting. The group has been raising funds to build a new library for the school and to replace the old library, where much of the killing took place, with a light-filled, two-story atrium.
Lowrie announced the gift one week ago, but officials with the Denver Foundation, which administers HOPE’s fundraising effort, said they did not want to accept it automatically without HOPE’s concent. Lowrie owns strip clubs PT’s, PT’s Gold and All Stars.
“The families of HOPE will accept the gift by Mr. Lowrie in the spirit in which it was intended, from the heart,” the families said in a prepared statement. “Members of HOPE realize regardless of what decision was made, they would face criticism.”
Although the gift, in the form of more than 600,000 shares of stock in a billboard advertising company, is worth $1 million, according to Lowrie, its value will likely be less for HOPE. The organization will not know the actual value for several weeks, but it could yield $200,000 or more, officials said.
Because the company is a start-up firm and is traded on the over-the-counter market, which is reserved for small companies, the stock could not be sold all at once. If it was, the price would plummet.
And because the stock would have to be sold in increments, it does not give HOPE much time to make money from it. Rules dictate the $3.1 million needed for the library project must be raised before construction can begin.
Lowrie made the donation after a request by Angela Sanders, the daughter of the slain Columbine teacher who has been praised for saving many lives during the April 20 massacre.
Sanders dances at PT’s Gold and approached Lowrie after learning he had for years made donations to schools and libraries throughout the Front Range.
“I’m so happy,” Sanders said. “I’m so glad they decided to accept it.” Sanders is coordinating her own fundraising effort, too.
She is planning an all-day concert at Eck’s Saloon in Lakewood. All the concert’s proceeds will go to HOPE, Sanders said.
Lowrie said he would officially present his donation at Sanders’ concert.
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