The Piton Foundation is a private, operating foundation established in 1976 by Denver oil man Sam Gary. The foundation's name was derived from the steel spike - a piton - used by mountain climbers to secure their lifeline - an essential support as they ascend difficult terrain. Piton's mission is to provide opportunities for children and their families to move from poverty and dependence to self reliance. Its vision is a better future for the low-income children of Denver.
As an operating foundation, Piton uses a significant portion of its private funding to develop and implement its own programs related to its areas of mission. In addition to its operating activities, the foundation awards grants to organizations that play a strategic role in working with the foundation to implement these operating programs, and to partners in its major programmatic initiative, The Children's Corridor.