EpicPromise Foundation to support Vail Resorts employees through grants | SummitDaily.com

EpicPromise Foundation to support Vail Resorts employees through grants

Elise Reuter
ereuter@summitdaily.com

Vail Resorts plans to give out $750,000 in grants to employees next year, through their new EpicPromise Foundation.

A separate entity from the company itself, the foundation has applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and will be used to distribute scholarships to employees for assistance in pursuing education and responding to medical or family emergencies.

Nicky DeFord, senior manager of charitable contributions for Vail Resorts, said the foundation was created "to support (employees) in times of need, to inspire them and to give them an avenue to support their coworkers."

To kick off the program, CEO Rob Katz will donate $1.5 million to the foundation, with Vail Resorts pledging $500,000 each year. Grant applications will open in January, with the first grants awarded as early as February.

"We definitely have clients who will benefit," Family and Intercultural Resource Center executive director Tamara Drangstveit said. "I think this is one more way for Summit County families to get the help they need."

DeFord said the foundation was still trying to determine what types of grants could be awarded under IRS rules. As far as emergency relief, she said the foundation would look to offer grants for medical crises.

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"Emergency relief is very broad and we still have a lot to learn," she added.

As far as education is concerned, the foundation will be able to offer scholarships to employees and their families for four-year degrees, vocational school and GEDs.

Once the foundation's 501(c)(3) status is approved, the employees and visitors will be able to make tax-deductible donations. A board of directors consisting of non-executive employees across the company will oversee the foundation.

"The EpicPromise Foundation will be managed by our employees, for our employees," Katz said in a statement. "It's said that charity should begin at home and in this holiday season, we are creating a way for everyone at Vail Resorts to both give back and be supported."

While the foundation shares a name with EpicPromise, the branch of Vail Resorts responsible for donations to local nonprofits including the Summit Foundation and High Country Conservation Center, it will remain a separate entity as a nonprofit.

"It will be part of the whole story of EpicPromise," DeFord added.