EpicPromise doles out $2.3M worth of grants, donations to local nonprofits | SummitDaily.com

EpicPromise doles out $2.3M worth of grants, donations to local nonprofits

Summit Daily staff report

From left, Vice President and General Manager at Keystone Resort Geoff Buchheister, Lauren Gearhart and Shawna Gogolen of Mountain Mentors, and John Buhler, vice president at Breckenridge Ski Resort pose for a photo Tuesday after Mountain Mentors was awarded Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise Kids Grant Award, an honor that comes with $5,000 in extra funding.

Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts awarded more than $2.3 million worth of cash grants and donations to 52 nonprofits based in Summit and Lake counties for the upcoming season and beyond, according to the resorts.

The EpicPromise grants offered by both resorts parent company, Vail Resorts, were announced Tuesday at Breckenridge Ski Resort. According to a news release, the grants this year will support programs that ensure people in need have access to healthy meals, boost early childhood education and provide access to dental care for children living in Summit and Lake counties.

The release says officials at Breckenridge and Keystone want to make sure their contributions are relevant and that they are "at the table" in helping their nonprofit partners address the community's most critical issues.

As such, resort leadership asked community partners to identify some of the most pervasive issues facing the Summit County area during a community luncheon last summer.

One of critical needs they identified was college access and affordability, which led the EpicPromise to offer support to Colorado Mountain College and the Summit School District for college scholarships and career training opportunities.

The resorts also lended a hand to Healthy Choices for Youth by partnering with Advocates for Victims of Assault, CASA, BOEC, FIRC, Full Circle of Lake County, the Keystone Science Center, Mountain Mentors and SOS Outreach, in an effort to help local youth reach their fullest potential.

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Mental health was another important issue, and a grant for the nonprofit Building Hope will provide money for therapy sessions, as well as monthly opportunities for locals to connect and foster meaningful relationships.

In attrition to the regular grants, the resorts' employees also got in on the action and decided the winner of this year's EpicProimse Kids Grant Award by a vote.

The Kids Grant is an annual award that benefits a local nonprofit committed to helping children.

This year, it went to Summit County Mountain Mentors, and the award means more than bragging rights because it also comes with an extra $5,000 for the group.

"Mountain Mentors is so honored to receive the EpicPromise Kids Grant Award this year," said Shawna Gogolen, Mountain Mentors program supervisor, in a prepared statement. "This award is a testimony to the amazing investment our volunteer mentors are making in the lives of youth in Summit County. Mentoring has proven to show many positive results for young people and we have endless success stories."