Long-time reporter Helene Monberg gifted the Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation with funds several years ago.
This money is granted separately from the Rawlings Foundation funds and is for a specific purpose. Miss Monberg instructed the Rawlings Foundation to find a way to reach out to disadvantaged students who might not attend college and organizations that provide programs to help them stay in school, graduate and hopefully attend college or trade school. She directed the funds be used to benefit young people outside Pueblo County. Organizations in the Arkansas Valley, including Lake and Chaffee Counties and Southeastern Colorado are encouraged to apply.
Monberg funding is approved once a year.
“After the Second World War, they riffed the gals in the office, and I went home and talked to my father, and I had a plan, and I asked him what he thought about it, and he said he thought it was a pretty good plan. So I went down to Pueblo, and I talked to Frank Hoag Sr. about opening a news bureau, and I wanted him to be one of my clients, and he said ‘yes’ on the spot. I hadn’t even opened it yet! But he signed up both of his papers, The Chieftain, which was the morning paper, and the Star Journal, which was the evening paper. He was pretty close to retirement age then, but this was just a handshake agreement. But then his son took over, Frank S. Hoag Jr., and he carried out the agreement that I’d made with his Dad — only a handshake agreement. It probably was the best agreement that I had ever made.”
“I was one of the first women ever to have her own news bureau.
I was one of the first women ever to have her own newsletter.
It was published for close to thirty years, and it was centered on all Western resources, not simply water. I wrote more about water than anything else, because there are more water organizations than others, but I wrote about public land, I wrote about energy, and I wrote about Indians. I wrote about anything that was particularly interesting to the West in the resources field. As a matter of fact, I would rather write a power story than any other story. Power fascinates me.”
“Monberg summed up her life near the end: “I spent 58 wonderful years in the news business in the pursuit of truth. I put up my own dough and raised money for starter scholarships for more than 360 youths, mainly in the D.C. area. And I gave my savings to Lake County School District toward the repair of its schools, and to three Colorado colleges (CU-Denver, CSU and the University of Southern Colorado at Pueblo) and the Rawlings Foundation of Pueblo to spot poor kids in public urban high schools in the Denver/Pueblo areas before they drop out to try to get enough basic written and spoken English and math into their heads so that they might be able to navigate in today’s and tomorrow’s world. It has been fascinating.”