Around Aspen

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado

The Aspen Community Foundation provides funds for all kinds of programs in the Roaring Fork Valley and once a summer they give a thank-you party for people who donate money to keep all the programs going. This year the party was held at the home of Joan and Lawrence Altman and the Foundation’s staff, board members and donors were all on hand.

People like me, who grew up in a small town, remember The Community Chest, an organization that collected money from town residents and spread it around to needy projects in the community. Almost every small town had a Chest. The Aspen Community Foundation is much like a giant Community Chest; it’s just that Aspen has a lot more wealthy people than most small towns, so the Foundation collects a lot more money and can do a lot more good.

In 2009 donors contributed $4.5 million to the Foundation, which then granted the $4.5 million to its collection of 157 funds, including non-profits in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Battlement Mesa and Parachute. Since 1980, $51 million has been granted to non-profits that make a difference in these communities.

Grants from donor-advised funds and designated funds ranged from large to small, including $41,000 to Access Roaring Fork, $870,583 to the Aspen Art Museum, $10,150 to ACES, $71,250 to Aspen Education Foundation, $27,025 to Aspen Country Day School, $34,099 to The Buddy Program, $12,500 to Catholic Charities, $81,062 to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet … then $250 to 10th Mountain Hut Association, $250 to Aspen Community School, $250 to Mercy and Sharing, $250 to Early Childhood Center, $500 to Grassroots Television. This is just a sampling. And the donations range from gifts of $1 to $500,000-plus. To learn more about who donates to the Aspen Community Foundation, where the money goes, and how to start contributing yourself, stop by the office in the Red Brick Center for the Arts on Hallam Street and pick up a copy of the Annual Report.

Going into the offseason, one of the annual events is Walt Smith’s 36th Annual Roaring Fork Jazz Party, scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3 at the Double Tree Hotel in Grand Junction. For reservations and information contact Connie McCrudden at 970-963-3136.

Undercurrent … Happy offseason.


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