AspenOUT awards nearly $45k in grants, including scholarships |

AspenOUT awards nearly $45k in grants, including scholarships

Staff report

AspenOUT announced this week it is handing nearly $45,000 to local and national nonprofits as well as area high school graduates.

With a mission of promoting tolerance, understanding and diversity, AspenOUT hosts the annual Aspen Gay Ski Week, which is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Money raised during Gay Ski Week, a more than 40-year-old Aspen event, benefits local, regional and national organizations that provide support to the LGBTQ community.

This year, five scholarships were given to graduating seniors from area high schools, totaling $18,000, AspenOUT Executive Director Kevin McManamon said in a statement Wednesday.

Organizations that received grants include:

Aspen Hope Center ($7,500): The center helps those in an emotional crisis and works to decrease the stigma of mental illness. It also offers a local youth outreach program for LGBTQ students, called “Alphabet Soup.”

International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association Foundation ($5,000): The group supports initiatives that advance safety, dignity and respect for LGBT travelers, with a particular emphasis on emerging destinations.

Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program ($4,500): Develops leadership and identity by providing training to youth in community broadcasting on KDNK; the program broadcasts youth news programs about acceptance and tolerance.

The Gender Identity Center of Colorado ($4,000): Provides support for all gender identities through direct services and social change.

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund ($3,000): Works to achieve equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services and public policy.

One Colorado Education Fund ($2,000): Provides educational programming on LGBTQ issues, conducts research to understand public opinion and develops campaigns to build public support for fairness and equality.

Response ($2,000): Assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Tyler Clementi Foundation ($1,000): Creates safe, inclusive spaces for individuals facing bullying, harassment and humiliation.

PFLAG Roaring Fork Valley ($500): The local chapter of the nation’s largest family and ally organization.

Also receiving $500 grants are Basalt High School’s Peace Garden and Aspen Public Radio.