We are very familiar with the local non-profits that assist our communities and help make them a better place. It is heartwarming when you hear of people contributing funds to these non profits and helping them make their missions possible. Today we heard that Vail Resorts Company CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, founder of Elana’s Pantry, made personal contributions totaling $2 million to 12 local non-profit organizations in the communities where the company operates, including Eagle, Summit, Denver and Boulder counties in Colorado; Summit County in Utah, South Lake Tahoe in Nevada, North Lake Tahoe in California; the Municipality of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada; Afton in Minnesota; Brighton in Michigan; Kenosha County in Wisconsin (near Wilmot); Cooma in New South Wales, Australia (near Perisher); and Jackson in Wyoming (near Grand Teton Lodge Company). Each of the contributions will be directed toward programs that support the welfare and education of children in these local communities.
“The success of our local communities brings a number of unique challenges that require our focus and attention – none more important than helping kids and families who are most vulnerable. Elana and I feel fortunate to be able to provide this support to these outstanding non-profits to allow them to continue their great work,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.
Today’s announcement follows last year’s $1.5 million contribution by Rob and Elana to the Epic Promise Foundation, which provides grants to employees of Vail Resorts who are in need or are looking for additional educational opportunities.
Following are the 12 non-profit organizations receiving funds from this $2 million gift and the impact these funds will have on children and families in the local communities they serve.
$250,000 – Our Community Foundation in Eagle County, Colo.
In 2016, the Summer Lunch program through Our Community Foundation provided 15,000 meals to local children in need as they are missing out on the 150,000 free or reduced lunches provided in schools during the rest of the year. This gift will provide 20,000 additional meals through collaboration with organizations addressing hunger, as well as mobile delivery to low-income community sites.
“With this generous gift, we will be able to develop sustainable programs that will reduce hunger among our most vulnerable families. We hope it also brings awareness to local needs and inspire others to be part of the solution in fostering a sustainable community,” said Mike Rushmore, founder and board chair for Our Community Foundation in Eagle County, Colo.
$250,000 – Summit Community Care Clinic in Summit County, Colo.
With this contribution, Summit Community Care Clinic (SCCC) will be able to continue to provide its robust and much needed behavioral health program at its current level. The need for these critical services continues to rise in Summit County. Services like behavioral health, both the fastest growing program and the least funded, are an integral part to caring for the whole person. This gift translates into over 1,400 behavioral health visits that will be provided over the course of a year. These visits help SCCC bridge care from the main clinic to the schools and out into the community, ensuring that every local student, family and resident receives high-quality, integrated health care services, whenever it is needed.
“Rob and Elana’s support couldn’t come at a more important time for SCCC. With the rise of uninsured and the increased demand for our services, having financial partners who understand and value our mission is really incredible. Their gift will help ensure that during a challenging year for the clinic, access to much-needed services, like behavioral health, will remain available and consistent,” said Pat Kopystianskyj, Summit Community Care Clinic Board President.
$250,000 – Park City Community Foundation for PC Tots in Summit County, Utah
This gift supports access to early childhood education by funding the opening of a second extended-day early learning center for PC Tots, thus significantly expanding the number of children in Park City’s workforce who will receive quality, affordable daycare and early childhood education. This additional center will focus on meeting the growing need for subsidized daycare, especially for children from six weeks to three years old.
Carol Loomis, board president for PC Tots said, “We are proud and grateful that this will allow more parents to return to the workforce confident that their children will be in a safe, stimulating environment with tuition that is based upon their ability to pay.”
$250,000 – SOS Outreach in Denver, Colo.
SOS Outreach serves more than 5,000 at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 18 annually. As a youth development non-profit, SOS Outreach engages at-risk and underserved youth through year-round, outdoor adventure sports, including skiing and snowboarding. SOS Outreach delivers long-term life skills development to youth through the organization’s progressive outdoor programs, leadership workshops, service learning projects and long-term mentoring.
“Vail Resorts has served as a core partner from the very start, and this contribution from Rob and Elana further solidifies our partnership and fuels our ability to inspire youth. Coinciding with the ten year anniversary of SOS’s Denver office opening, SOS will expand or launch programs for underserved youth across metropolitan areas including winter opportunities in Salt Lake City, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis and Reno as well as summer programs for Denver youth. Within the next three years, SOS anticipates doubling participation from these areas to over 3,000 participants annually,” said Claus Tjaden, board chair of SOS Outreach.
$250,000 – Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder, Colo.
The Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) provides food, financial assistance for medical and other needs, rent and utility bill assistance to prevent homelessness and shut offs, and connection to other resources for families, seniors and people living with disabilities in Boulder County. EFAA provides housing for homeless families so they can get back on their feet and their children can thrive. With this gift, EFAA will be able to help more families in need and scale up programs with longer-term impact that help low-income families become more self-sufficient. This funding will help support these more intensive services, including helping families improve their earning potential, decreasing the risk of homelessness and crisis, and helping young children become school and life ready.
US$250,000 (C$333,000) – The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support to organizations whose activities provide benefit to residents of the Sea to Sky Corridor with a special emphasis placed on youth and family programs. The gift from Rob and Elana will be used to support two extremely important initiatives: The first will fund a corridor-wide Healthy Choices Program in schools. This program offers education around unique issues that many youth face today including bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, negative body image, suicide prevention, and stress and anxiety issues. This will ensure that all children have access to much-needed support and help, visit https://holisticdental.org/klonopin-for-anxiety/. In Whistler alone, the demand for these sessions has increased by more than 110 percent in the last several years. The second initiative is a lunch program for financially restricted families in the Sea to Sky Corridor. The funds will provide over 40,000 lunches annually to children in need. Studies show that children who are properly nourished are more creative, have improved memory and demonstrate superior problem-solving and verbal skills.
“The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation is overwhelmed by this unparalleled personal donation from Rob Katz and Elana Amsterdam. Our local Sea to Sky communities, and especially our children and youth, will benefit enormously and feel the positive effects from these programs for many years to come. It is also extremely timely as The Healthy Choices Program was in danger of being cut due to lack of funding, so we are very grateful for this generous gift,” said Mei Madden, executive director of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.
$125,000 – The Boys and Girls Club in South Lake Tahoe
The Boys and Girls Club provides a safe, welcoming and educational place for children when school is out but parents are at work or unable to care for their child. This gift will cover the full cost of 50 children attending the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe for an entire year and provides the organization with $50,000 in seed funding to launch their campaign for a new home.
“We are very proud of the fact that the Club has grown by over 140 percent in the past two years. However, with increased numbers and the impending loss of our current facility, we need to build a new, bigger and better facility to call home. Rob and Elana’s donation not only eases our funding concerns for this year but will help to kick-start our fundraising campaign and encourage others to invest in our community and our children,” said Jude Wood, executive director of The Boys and Girls Club in South Lake Tahoe.
$125,000 – The Boys and Girls Club in North Lake Tahoe
This gift will support the expansion of the organization’s program in Truckee, Calif., to address youth and academic achievement, as well as to provide a safe place for teens to go. The program currently serves 320 kids per day at Kings Beach and 105 kids each day at Truckee, and with this gift, 75 more children will be able to have access to the program for three years.
US$75,000 (A$100,000) – Monaro Early Intervention Service in Cooma, New South Wales, Australia
Monaro Early intervention Service provides a range of early intervention and therapy services for children from birth to the end of school, who have a disability or developmental delay. This gift will enable the organization to deliver eight-week parenting programs, open to all families across the community, that support children’s relationship development, secure attachment, emotional wellbeing, and behavior.
$75,000 – Moose Corner Children’s Academy in Jackson, Wyo.
This gift will be used to offset preschool costs for working families who struggle to afford daycare for their children as well as to grow and develop staff to provide exceptional care and early childhood education experiences.
In addition, gifts also are being made to organizations that serve the local communities where the Company operates its three urban ski areas in the Midwest.
- $33,500 – Valley Outreach in Stillwater, Minn. The gift will allow the Food Shelf Family Snack Pack program to provide 8,571 weekend meals to families in the St. Croix Valley, including Afton, who would otherwise not eat.
- $33,500 – North Star Reach in Ann Arbor, Mich. North Star Reach is a camp located on 105 acres in Pinckney, Mich., that serves children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges free of charge. This gift will send 13 local kids to camp.
- $33,500 – Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha County, Wisc. The Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha County serves more than 12,291 local kids, kindergarten through 12th grade, with tutoring, after-school programs and leadership development. This gift will enable the club to handle the nearly 50 percent increase in daily attendance in the last year.
These are significant resources for locals in each one of these communities. Dollars of any amount are extraordinarily helpful and these funds will most certainly continue to help these non-profits make a positive difference in someone’s life. Outstanding!
~MTN Town Magazine
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