A positive impact by the Crowns | AspenTimes.com

A positive impact by the Crowns

Dear Editor:

It’s always a good day in the neighborhood when one agrees with Mike Marolt (“Crown bashing rooted in ignorance,” letter to the editor, Aspen Times, Feb. 2).

The BIG dog in a small-kennel scenario. In every community, there are always a handful of corporations that can provide the definition for the term, “Company Town.” I grew up in Boulder in the good old days and we had big dogs like IBM, Head Skis, Lange Ski Boots, Celestial Seasonings, the University of Colorado and a few others that formed Boulder’s “Company Town.” They were always slow moving targets and there was inevitably someone trying to make their mark by taking shots at them, while attempting to capitalize on their 15 minutes of fame. Some things never change.

As I read Mike’s letter it made me think beyond the inherent black and white of what the Crowns have done for the four mountains and the community in creating and keeping Aspen/Snowmass as the premier resort destination in the (you can fill in the blank). My positive impression of the Crowns comes from a different angle. I am fortunate to be on the board of the Aspen Community Foundation, a foundation founded by Aspen Skiing Co. and the Crowns in 1980 to promote philanthropy in the community.

The positive impact made by the Foundation on communities from Aspen to Parachute over the past 30 years has been nothing short of phenomenal. In 2009 alone, the Foundation held $37.4 million is assets, with an endowment of $10.3 million, and distributed almost $4.5 million in grants to 290 nonprofits. In 2010, the Foundation held $41.5 million in assets, $13 million in operating endowment and $4 million in total grants to over 275 nonprofits as benefactors. Surprised, aren’t you?

It is solely because of the Crown family’s vision, forethought and the recognition of vital community needs that tens of millions of dollars have been granted and invaluable resources have been provided over the past 30 years to thousands of fortunate valleywide residents. The Crowns have been a quiet partner in the Foundation and have always allowed the Foundation board and staff to make all critical decisions and the approval of funding requests. As the Aspen Community Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary, I urge all valley residents to take a quick look at what the Foundation and the magic it provides is all about.

And as you do, say an appropriate “thank you,” to yourself for the Crown family. I will.

RJ Gallagher Jr.


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