Breckenridge distributes nearly $300,000 in nonprofit grants | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge distributes nearly $300,000 in nonprofit grants

Elise Reuter
ereuter@summitdaily.com

Breckenridge distributed nearly $300,000 in donations to local nonprofits on Tuesday, as part of the town's 2016 grants program. Nonprofits were selected through a countywide process for organizations that provide a service to the community, cultural programs or drive visitors to Breckenridge.

"The town of Breckenridge is humbled by your commitment and enthusiasm for what you do," Mayor John Warner said. "It's great to get you guys together, and start thinking about how we can collaborate."

Town council members presented $297,890 in checks to more than 30 Summit County organizations. In addition, the town has budgeted $35,000 for two scholarship programs: Junior Athletes through the Breckenridge Elite Athletes Association, and Summit High School seniors.

On Tuesday night, the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center was given funding to support their adaptive ski and wilderness programs. The Breckenridge nonprofit provides outdoor activities to individuals with disabilities or financial need.

The adaptive ski program offers accessible downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding at the Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts. The wilderness program offers nearly everything else — with accessible whitewater rafting, canoeing, cycling, backpacking, snowshoeing and other activities.

"Funding from the town of Breckenridge ensures that these individuals can participate in skiing or snowboarding, rock climbing, rafting, canoeing and other fun activities they might not otherwise be able to do," development director Marci Sloan said in a statement.

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Several other familiar faces across the county spoke at the Jan. 12 meeting. The Summit Community Care Clinic received funds to support general operations, as the clinic has grown to support 24,000 visits per year.

A grant was also presented to the Summit School District, to support the annual seventh grade Courage Retreat. Summit Middle School counselor Julie Comstock said class size has grown exponentially in the past few years.

"It's very moving," Comstock said of the retreat, noting the "pebble in the pond" activity where students are encouraged to share an act of courage.

"It's a wonderful program. Thank you so much for supporting it."

A few new nonprofits were also presented grants. Bethany Immigration Services, a low-cost immigration legal-aid agency created in the last year, received funds to assist with operations.

"We are blessed to collaborate with you all," co-founder Judy Phillips said. "We believe we are making a difference in people's lives."

She noted that she and Sarah Christy recently completed a case, reuniting a U.S. father and his wife, a permanent resident from Guatemala, with their two children.

"… (They) will be able to hug their children for the first time this year," Phillips said. "We're working to get families unified."

Breckenridge has provided funding through the grant process since 1986. Applicants may submit a request in August.

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