Aspen Education Foundation lands seven-figure donation |

Aspen Education Foundation lands seven-figure donation

Aspen Education Foundation board chairman Raifie Bass announced Monday the reception of its first-ever seven-figure gift.

The gift comes from the Altec-Styslinger Foundation and will be designated to support The Aspen Promise, an endowed scholarship fund that provides financial support to make college attendance possible for Aspen High School students.

The donation will benefit many students who are first-generation college entrants, according to the announcement. Former AEF executive director Brooke Bedingfield met the Styslingers last fall at the AEF new parents’ reception after they had relocated to Aspen. The donation will be made to the AEF Endowment Fund, which will generate $50,000 per year in perpetuity.

The Aspen Promise is a vision of Dr. Kathy Klug, director of college outreach and college counselor. In partnership with AEF, it was created last year with an initial gift from Gary and Darlene Lichtenwalter in honor of their sons. The Promise aims to annually address the financial gap for students who have exhausted their possibilities for more financial aid, scholarships, grants or other funding. The donors plan to follow the students they support throughout their college experience.

“The earnings from this endowed fund will perfectly complement our historic, local scholarship program which is supported by 45 businesses,” says Klug.

Because 85 percent of Aspen graduates need financial aid, the $360,000 raised each year from local businesses for these scholarships make college and secondary education possible for many kids.

“It is critically important that we continue to receive the support of local businesses with their gifts,” says Klug.  “The Styslingers’ gift contributes to the sustainability of our promise to close this gap. The Aspen Promise’s vision is to provide financial support so that no student is turned away due to an inability to attain the needed funding.”

For more information, contact AEF at 970-429-3626 or visit