Our Foundation

The Valley Hope Foundation is the charitable arm of Valley Hope and as such raises and manages charitable gifts to support treatment scholarships, treatment programs, equipment and capital needs of Valley Hope. The Foundation also maintains an endowment in support of Valley Hope. Valley Hope Foundation accepts a wide range of charitable gifts. If you would like to discuss, please contact Megan O’Connor, Foundation Director: The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN: 48 1236586

How to Give

Special Request

Our patients need you.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Valley Hope has cancelled many vital spring fundraising events. Last year, event dollars provided 954 patients with direct support for treatment books, dental visits, clothing, personal hygiene items and sober-living housing after treatment.

The need in the coming months will only increase as the full force of this health crisis hits. We know the dangers of addiction dramatically increase in the face of heightened anxiety, stress and isolation.

Without event dollars, our ability to provide help is depleted.

Last year, events raised $60,000 for the Immediate Patient Aid Account. In recent days, several event sponsors have committed $15,000 knowing we will not be hosting spring fundraising events.

Will you join these wonderful supporters and help bridge this gap?

With gratitude,

Megan O’Connor

Executive Director

Building Hope Campaign

Campaign Initiatives

Valley Hope seeks to invest more than $15 million into treatment scholarships, program enhancements, equipment, renovation and construction projects as part of the BUILDING HOPE Comprehensive Campaign.

Treatment Assistance

Valley Hope seeks current and deferred gifts to assist patients who otherwise are unable to afford treatment.

Capital & Equipment

Valley Hope residential treatment facilities require significant renovation and expansion – specifically in the area of detox services. The current opiate epidemic continues unabated and requires Valley Hope to expand its detox centers at its residential treatment facilities.


Thanks to the vision and generosity of many since 2000, Valley Hope Foundation has built an endowment of $4 million. Named endowed funds may be established at Valley Hope Foundation or gifts may be made to the General Endowed Fund. Current and deferred gifts can be made for endowment purposes. Treatment scholarships, equipment and recovery programs can be funded by your endowed funds.

How to Give

Valley Hope Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization under the IRS Code (EIN 48-1236586). The organization accepts a variety of gifts as donations for endowment, capital initiatives and for programs to benefit the institution, including, but not limited to:

  • Gifts of Cash
  • Gifts of Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds
  • Gifts of Personal Property
  • Gifts of Real Property
  • Gifts of Trust
  • Gifts of IRAs
  • Gifts of Bequests
  • Gifts of Insurance
  • Donor-advised funds

We encourage you to discuss these gift-giving options with your adviser, accountant and/or attorney and select the most effective way for you to make a gift to Valley Hope Foundation. Current gifts can be pledged up to a five-year period.

Foundation Board of Trustees

  • Gonzalo Ardavin, Gilbert, AZ
  • Scott Bahe, Gothenburg, NE
  • Dan McCormick, Norton, KS
  • Steve Knuth, Holdrege, NE
  • Tom Lolley, Denver, CO
  • John Miller, Lincoln, NE
  • Joe Sims, Overland Park, KS

Colorado (Swede) Matching Gift Drive

A "Swede" Legacy

Because of a $100,000 matching challenge grant provide by a longtime Colorado Springs area resident, your charitable gift will be matched – doubled – should you participate in this drive.

Alden Arthur “Swede” Hanson played a part in the recovery journey of countless individuals on the Front Range and shared the message of recovery to those who needed it.

Communities suffer from the devastating effects of alcohol and drug addiction. Broken families, domestic violence, damaged property and more result from the disease of addiction. You can be a part of the solution.

You can continue Swede’s legacy by making a gift today.

When you make a donation, you are providing access to hundreds of individuals needing the knowledge, expertise and compassionate care provided by Valley Hope.

Thank you for extending your helping hand to Colorado families.

In services to others,

Megan O’Connor, Executive Director Valley Hope Foundation

Valley Hope is a non-profit, addiction treatment and recovery organization. Valley Hope has impacted 90,000 Colorado families since 1989. Residential services are offered in Parker and outpatient services in Denver.

Alden Arthur "Swede" Hanson

February 14, 1920 - November 11, 2015

Alden Arthur “Swede” Hanson died peacefully at his Red Creek Canyon Ranch in southern El Paso County on November 11, 2015. Good friends and his faithful dog, Sandy, were at his side. Swede was 95 years old.

Born on February 14, 1920 in Minnesota to Arthur Benjamin Hanson and Agnes Wilhelmina (Anderson) Hanson, Swede attended public schools and joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in December 1940. He participated in the North Africa and Sicily campaigns, attaining the rank of First Sergeant, receiving numerous decorations and returning home in July 1945 with an Honorable Discharge.

After WW II, Swede moved to Colorado Springs to attend Colorado College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He worked as a logistics manager for the U.S. Air Force at Ent Field (now Peterson AFB). Swede had a knack for real estate and joined The Colorado Land Company where he became managing partner and worked until he was 81 years old in his corner office on the ground floor of the old Holly Sugar Building in downtown Colorado Springs. Swede was a pillar of the Colorado real estate community and brokered ranch and agricultural land sales in the hundreds of thousands of acres over his long career.

But it was in service to his community that Swede Hanson found his true passion. He was a member for 62 uninterrupted years of Alcoholics Anonymous and was one of the early members who brought AA to southern Colorado, establishing groups from Colorado Springs to the New Mexico border. It was Swede’s strong desire that his life-long affiliation with AA be front-and-center in this obituary.

Swede’s contributions to AA are too numerous to catalogue. But a few stand out.

Perhaps most important to Swede was his belief that most of the inmates in our prisons would be back soon after release if their alcohol and drug problems were not addressed. On an exclusively volunteer basis, he worked in the Colorado prison system for 53 years, to bring the AA recovery message to the men and women who desperately needed it, touching more than 100,000 inmates. For 20 of those years, Swede ran a government-sponsored AA program inside Colorado prisons that the U.S. Department of Justice evaluated and found to be “a model for the rest of the country.”

Swede was also committed to bringing AA recovery to young people. For 15 years he operated the largest adolescent treatment facility in Colorado Springs – mostly at his own expense. Thousands of young people went through Swede’s center, getting a glimpse of a different way to live their lives. In his later years, Swede became convinced that alcoholism education should be integrated into the American educational system and he directed his characteristic energy toward that objective.

Through it all, however, Swede was always focused on helping the still-suffering alcoholics right in front of him. And there were always plenty of us. He sponsored hundreds of men through the 12 Steps and was there for many desperate families along the way as well.

Perhaps the best rendering of Swede Hanson’s many accomplishments in AA was recently offered in a letter to him from Terry Bedient, Chairman of the Board of Alcoholics Anonymous. On October 6, 2015 he wrote to Swede on behalf of AA’s 2 million members:

“We know, Swede, that your personal motto is “Whatever it takes!’ That is how you approached helping alcoholics for six decades and that is how you continue to bring the message to those in need today. You are an exceptional member who has touched many, many lives. For this, I thank you, the Board thanks you and your fellow AA’s thank you.”

Swede leaves behind thousands of grateful friends within and beyond AA. We will all miss you profoundly, Swede. You gave many of us our lives back. And you brought out the best in us all.

Our dear friend Swede will be remembered and honored at an open memorial event and potluck on November 28, 2015 at the Odd Fellows Hall located at 575 S. Union Blvd. in Colorado Springs from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Our Staff


Pictured left to right: Kortney Poire, Megan O'Connor, Lisa Ruzicka

Megan O'Connor, Executive Director

(785) 202-1358 (mobile) |  (785) 877-5111 (office)

Megan is responsible for fundraising activities including the BUILDING HOPE CAMPAIGN, Annual Fund Drive, major gift solicitations, special events and stewardship. After earning a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Oregon State University, Megan began her career as an event planner in the hotel/hospitality industry. She joined Valley Hope in 2003 and was certified as a Licensed Addiction Counselor in Kansas.  In 2005, Megan was promoted to her current position where her efforts have helped countless patients and their families get the treatment they need. Megan obtained a Fundraising Management Certificate from The School of Philanthropy, University of Indiana.

Kortney Poire, Annual Fund Manager

(785) 202-0471 (mobile) | (785) 877-5111 (office)

Kortney is responsible for fundraising activities including the Annual Fund Drive, special events and volunteer coordination.  Kortney holds a Master’s Degree from Emporia State University in Mental Health Counseling. Kortney came to the Valley Hope Foundation in 2017 from an established career in child welfare. She was promoted to her current position in 2018.

Lisa Ruzicka, Development Office Administrator

(785) 877-5111 (office)

Lisa Ruzicka came to the Valley Hope Foundation with extensive office experience and a love of people. She is responsible for assisting with administrative tasks and special events. Her knowledge of marketing, writing and attention to detail provide skills useful to Valley Hope’s work with donors and fundraising. She has a passion to communicate the importance of supporting people in their recovery.