Summit County Cares: The challenge returns |

Summit County Cares: The challenge returns

DREW ANDERSENsummit daily news

Does Summit County really care? Now is the time to find out.The annual Summit County Cares fundraising campaign returns this week and looks to raise $45,000 in emergency-assistance funds to help locals with rent, utility bills, food and medical assistance bills. Last year, the program hauled in $39,000; all of which went to helping families keep their homes, maintain their utilities and receive medical care.”It’s not a handout, a hand up,” said longtime Summit County volunteer Marilyn Repsher. “I think that’s how a community takes care of the less fortunate.”The program aims to engage local business in a friendly fundraising competition. Each week until the end of the year, a different industry headlines the challenge. For instance, from Nov. 8-12, nonprofits are being challenged to raise money for Summit County Cares. The week after, emergency services will engage in competition. There are no trophies, Repsher said, only the pride of being more philanthropic than other businesses in one’s field.Once again all of the proceeds will go toward helping nonprofits like the Family and Intercultural Resource Center in Dillon provide assistance with rent, utility, food and medical assistance. Even if the campaign reaches its $45,000 goal, it will still be far short of the $133,000 FIRC distributed last year to help locals with their bills – a 50-percent increase over last year. And with unemployment near record highs in Summit County, more families are expected to ask for help this year than ever before.”Sometimes employment is just around the corner,” Repsher said, “but with the weather we’ve been having, a lot of seasonal jobs haven’t started yet, and families may need help to catch up before receiving their first few paychecks.”The Summit Foundation co-sponsors the event and maintains the Summit County Cares Fund. Proceeds are then distributed to nonprofits providing emergency assistance such as FIRC, Advocates for Victims of Assault, the Community Care Clinic and Social Services. The funds go directly to those in need, not to any operations costs for these agencies.Once an industry’s week is up, funds can be routed to The Summit Foundation’s Summit County Cares Fund via the Summit Foundation website at or by mailing a check to The Summit Foundation at P.O. Box 4000; Breckenridge, CO 80424. Businesses that donate or place a challenge will be announced on KSMT and listed in the Summit Daily News. For more information, contact Anita Overmyer of FIRC at (970) 262-3888 or least three events will help benefit the campaign, including the Kids Carnival on Dec. 5 at the Silverthorne Pavilion, the Colorado Children’s Chorale on Dec. 18 at Keystone Resort and Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 19 at Keystone Resort. Event organizers indicated more events may be added, as well.SDN reporter Drew Andersen can be contacted at (970) 668-4633 or

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