Robert D. Telmossé was born July 17, 1941 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He died May 23, 2006, in California following a long illness. He lived in New Jersey until being drafted in the U.S. Air Force where he was stationed at Peterson Air Force Base. After being discharged in 1958, he decided to make Colorado Springs his home. After working in the furniture business, he opened his own store, the Denver Warehouse, which he operated successfully for 21 years. His television commercials made him one of the most recognized faces in the city.
Bob was a partner in the Better Living Center, a shopping center at 1801 N. Union and was president of Sibling Leasing Company. He was founder and president of Tel-Moore Marketing until 2003. The advertising agency served many leading businesses in the Pikes Peak Region. He was a partner in KILO Broadcasting Company which rose to be the number one AOR (Album Orient Rock) station in the United States.
It was always his belief that one should give back to the community and he was active in doing this all of his life. His generous spirit helped countless organizations not only financially, but through his tireless volunteer efforts. He was a member of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Cheyenne Village, Civitan, the Child Advocacy Center, CASA and many more.
Telmossé served on various boards through his career including: Muscular Dystrophy, the Ronald McDonald House, Care and Share, the Pikes Peak Advertising Federation, WorkOut Limited, Penrose Hospital, the Penrose Hospital Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club.
He was active with the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon nearly since its inception. Viewers enjoyed his good work each year on KOAA-TV. For his tireless work, he was honored by the station in 2003 and 2004.
Having a keen interest in the handicapped, Bob worked with what is now the S.A. Wilson School, who honored him with their annual Bob Telmossé Day.
In 1984, Bob Telmossé founded the SafeChild Project, a non-profit foundation. The organization provided video tape of infants and children for database identification and donated money for worthwhile community projects. The foundation became the underwriter for the Bob Telmossé Christmas Giveaway for the needy in the community. In 1983, the event began as a hoax. Someone ran an ad in the Gazette Telegraph saying Bob's business was giving away free food. When people come to his business, Bob explained the mistake and had them come back the next day and provided them with food from his own resources.
The event grew the next year and the next and the next. When it grew into the thousands, SafeChild took over. The Giveaway continued for 22 years, helping thousands of less fortunate have food, clothing, gifts and toys for Christmas. Bob directed the event until 2003 when his health prevented him from doing so. After 2003, the Giveaway has continued through the efforts of many people in the community and eventually the Bob Telmossé Foundation.
Bob was always in demand as a speaker for graduation and as an emcee for events like the Ronald McDonald House, the Children's Advocacy Center and the Secretaries Association. He taught classes on "entrepreneurship" at the United States Air Force Academy.
Bob received countless awards including Sertoma's Service to Mankind Award. He was honored by the Pikes Peak Advertising Federation with the Silver Medal Award, given for excellence in advertising. He was also honored by the American Advertising Federation as Advertising Man of the Year, winning in a 5 state area. In 2005, Bob received the PPAF's prestigious Fred Sindt Award for his contributions as a philanthropist, entrepreneur, businessman and humanitarian.
Bob's spirit, legacy and his life long commitment to the people of the Pikes Peak Region live on through the efforts and projects of the Bob Telmossé Foundation.
About the Foundation
Twenty-five years after the original hoax that led to The Bob Telmosse' Christmas Giveaway, The Bob Telmosse' Foundation was created. We are focused on keeping alive both the Christmas Spirit and the commitment to improving the lives of children and families in the Pikes Peak Region, which were the guiding principles of Bob's soul. The Foundation was created to continue the years of dedication Bob Telmosse' gave to the people of Colorado Springs. In addition to continuing the tradition of the Christmas Giveaway, the Foundation is focused on supporting projects in the Region consistent with our Mission to improve the lives of indivuals, children and families.