Philip S. Miller may have died more than 20 years ago, but on July 13, his legacy was remembered in Douglas County as two-dozen organizations benefited from a trust he set up during his life.
The Miller trust has nine beneficiaries, including Douglas County, Castle Rock, Douglas County’s 4H Program and the Castle Rock Fire Department.
Miller, born in 1895, was a businessman and philanthropist in Douglas County until his death in 1999. Several areas in the town are dedicated and named for Miller including the county government building, a local park and the Castle Rock Library.
In 1980, Miller and his wife, having no children, established the trust, which provides a cash distribution to its beneficiaries every year. Trust distributions are to be used “exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes,” according to the county.
This year, $185,000 was divided up between 23 nonprofits including the Help & Hope Center, Cherry Hills Community Church, Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation, the Parker Task Force, the Highlands Ranch Metro District and Aging Resources of Douglas County. A full list of recipients is available at douglas.co.us/newsroom in a news release titled “Grant awards bolster local safety-net programs.”
Checks were handed out to these organizations during the July 13 meeting where they were approved by the board of commissioners.
Another $90,000 went to the Douglas County Community Foundation.
“Even though Mr. Miller has been gone for many years, he still provides funding to his beloved Douglas County every year,” Commissioner Lora Thomas said in the meeting.
Information on the trust and applications for future grants are available at douglas.co.us/the-philip-s-miller-grant-program. Applicants must be 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organizations that serve Douglas County. Preference is given to organizations that address self-sufficiency, at-risk youth, suicide prevention, senior programming and gaps in medical and mental health services, according to the county website.
“I would hope that we can all take the example of Phil Miller as what it means to be a neighbor here in Douglas County,” Commissioner George Teal said. “It’s his legacy that we’re honoring today and hopefully helping out some good folks who need a little bit of a hand.”