The Gold Crown Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity founded in 1986 by former NBA great Bill Hanzlik and Colorado business leader Ray Baker. The organization operates with a mission to provide opportunities and “Educate Youth and Community Through Sports and Enrichment Programs”. As the organization continues to grow, the Gold Crown Foundation anticipates providing more than 35,000 opportunities for girls and boys with our roster of programs in 2011. Participants from the Denver metro area, Colorado front-range, and Rocky Mountain region will participate in Gold Crown enrichment, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and golf programs as well as baseball through Coca-Cola All Star Park. The Gold Crown Foundation owns and operates Coca-Cola All Star Park in Lakewood, Colorado – a premier youth baseball field modeled after historic Coors Field that was constructed in 1998 in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club. In October of 2003, the Foundation proudly opened the Gold Crown Field House. This 56,000 square-foot indoor facility, which houses many of Gold Crown’s indoor programs, allows us to greatly expand our enrichment programming and serve the community further.
Thank you for visiting our website. While it is truly amazing to us how our Foundation has grown since 1986, the same motivation that drove us all those years ago is what drives us still today, and that is how we answer one simple question:
What's best for the kid?
Back in 1988, when we started our basketball camp, the answer to what's best for the kid was to run a girl's camp instead of a boy's camp because we saw so few opportunities for young girls. Back in 1994, when we saw basketball programs vanishing for 6th, 7th and 8th graders, the answer to that question was to take a risk and start our own middle school basketball program from scratch.
We have found often that answering to the question of what's best for the kid is not always the easiest path to take and is sometimes met with resistance. When we drove by an empty Alameda Junior High School in the early 1990's, we looked at it and asked ourselves, "what's best for the kid?" While coming up with the answer that we should recycle the property to a new complex was easy, the road to Coca-Cola All Star Park and the Gold Crown Field House was full of curves and bumps before reaching a happy ending.
Fortunately for us, we live in a community full of incredibly giving citizens and organizations who provide support. Like Kroenke Sports Enterprises, who believed in our mission to build the Gold Crown Field House to the point where their only question was "how can we help?" Like Janus Funds, who saved the day financially on the project but in return asked for nothing because their motivation was to do something that would benefit young people. Like the Colorado Rockies, who wanted to leave a lasting legacy to the community for helping them host the 1998 Major League Baseball All Star Game and brought together the forces needed to build Coca-Cola All Star Park. Like Jefferson County Open Space, who stepped forward to help us when all we had was a sales pitch and a preliminary set of blueprints. We could go on an on and needless to say we are grateful beyond words to everybody who has supported us over the years.
Because of the generosity of our community, because Colorado is a great place to live and raise children, and because we have a wonderfully talented and passionate staff dedicated to operating great programs, the future for our Foundation continues to be bright.
With very best wishes,
Ray Baker & Bill Hanzlik