Around Aspen: Community Foundation |

Around Aspen: Community Foundation

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

MEHDancers from the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's Folklorico program gave a performance during the mid-July patron party for the Aspen Community Foundation at the home of Alain Degraeve on Smuggler Mountain.

The Aspen Community Foundation is the godsend to many of Aspen’s non-profits. In 2008, the Foundation granted more than $3.8 million to 314 nonprofits in the Roaring Fork Valley. To thank patrons of the Foundation, board chairman Jake Mascotte and Foundation director Tamara Tormohlen, and her staff gave a cocktail party at the home of Alain Degraeve on Smuggler Mountain. Dancers from the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico program gave a spirited performance with much swirling of skirts and stamping of feet.

The patrons are the people in Aspen who give generously to the Foundation to keep all the 314 non-profits going. Several recipients of funds were also on hand. Just a few of the nonprofits that receive money from the Foundation include the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen Education Foundation, Roaring Fork Leadership, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, The Buddy Program, Aspen Music Festival and School, Aspen Film, Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Aspen Youth Center, Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Pathfinders, Crystal Valley Preschool, Wilderness Workshop, The Painted Turtle, Raising a Reader and Youthzone.

This past week Herman Edel sent me a copy of his novel, “The Pavlac Legacy.” The story follows the creation of a Torah in Prague in 1865, commissioned by the Pavlac Family, and it eventually becomes the Torah for the Jewish congregation in Aspen. In the historical story are details of the life of Jewish families in Prague, their persecution during the Holocaust and how the Torah comes to Aspen. There is even a section telling how a Jewish group comes to Aspen in the 1890s to assess whether to invest in the Aspen silver mines of David Hyman, owner of the Smuggler Mine. Herman worked in the music production industry with offices in New York, London and Los Angeles, and then he and his wife, Mardie, and their children, Scott and Margot, lived in Aspen from 1972 to 1985. Herman served two terms as mayor of Aspen while they lived here. Herman and Mardie now live in Ashland, Ore., where several other former Aspenites live, including Ruth and Ted Mularz, whose son, Mark Mularz of Acorn Design designed the cover for the book. Herman’s book is available at Explore BookSellers.

Undercurrent … Please don’t anyone start another non-profit. The ones we have in Aspen are already struggling for financial survival.

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