On Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, December 10th Vail Resorts Epic Promise hosted the annual Summit County Gives Reception, honoring and awarding the recipients of the 2019-20 community grants cycle. Vail Resorts selected 49 Summit County nonprofits to receive a total of $3.3 million. In total, Vail Resorts gave approximately $14 million to 350 community nonprofits nationwide.
Vail Resorts grants focus on the environment and youth opportunities. The Summit County grants break down into seven categories: youth programming, education, and early childhood education, environmental, accessibility, community vitality, basic needs, and social equity – with youth programming receiving 47% of grant money.
Equally important, the nonprofits are chosen by local employees who serve on the Giving Council. These employees review all grant applications and then collectively decide who will receive the grants each year.
Colorado Outdoor Mentoring
One of the local organizations that received this year’s grant, SOS Outreach, provides services that include outdoor mentoring and recreational activities to underserved youth. Since day one of SOS Outreach over 25 years ago, Vail Resorts has demonstrated a dedication to the SOS community, unlike any other entity. A truly unique partnership with Vail Resorts goal – helping SOS Outreach youth gear up for life through mentoring in great Colorado outdoors.
Smart Bellies, another local nonprofit recipient helps feed children in need of nutritious food over the weekends, kick-started nearly a year ago with their first food delivery in September of 2018.
This year in fact, Smart Bellies applied for the Vail Resorts Epic Promise grant to keep up with the increased demand. The goal is to help fund the “snack program” to help ensure snacks are available for kids in classrooms. Healthy snacks help children maintain focus throughout the school week. While the “snack program” is a big chunk of Smart Bellies budget, additional funds create further features to enhance children’s lives in Summit County.
Additionally, the Father Dyer Church Food Pantry also received a grant from Vail Resorts intended to purchase food for community members in need. The program opens every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am-noon in the basement of Father Dyer United Methodist Church at 310 Wellington Road in Breckenridge.
Focusing on Mental Health
In addition to the Vail Resorts Epic Promise to the community, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, announced they are contributing over $2.8 million to strengthen mental and emotion health programs in the ten mountain communities where Vail Resort operates.
This second annual distribution of grants by the Katz-Amsterdam Charitable Trust will benefit 40 nonprofit organizations that focus on mental health. In Summit County, four nonprofits received the grant: Building Hope, Family & Intercultural Resource Center, Peak Health Alliance, and the Summit County Community Care Clinic.
Building Hope received $270,000 to support therapy scholarships, expansion of an anti-stigma campaign and community-wide evaluations of the impact of the program. The Family & Intercultural Resource Center received $100,000 to grow the ALMA program, which works to increase bilingual peer support services in the county.
Peak Health Alliance received $100,000 to support the launch of new nonprofit health insurance. The Summit County Community Care Clinic received $90,000 to help grow and sustain the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Program.
Vail Resorts and The Katz-Amsterdam community grant program is another fine example of the extraordinary philanthropy in Summit County.