Community Foundation |

Community Foundation

Merbie and Tom Payne and Diane Light, left to right, were on hand when donors, board members, grant recipients and staff of the Aspen Community Foundation held a reception at the home of Susan Crown. (MEH )

On a lovely summer afternoon, Susan Crown hosted a reception for the donors, board members, grant recipients and staff of the Aspen Community Foundation, which awards grants to local nonprofits that help with health, education, senior services and the environment. There are 400 donors; since 1980, the organization has raised $36 million ($8 million was donated this year).The foundation was founded by the Aspen Skiing Co., which at first sold ski passes to raise the funds. Later, members of the community also donated, and the organization became the Aspen Community Foundation. Mike Kaplan, of the Skico, is chairman of the board and Tamara Tormohlen is the executive director. The Foundation Mountain Pass program was launched in 2003 as part of a partnership with the Community Foundation and the Aspen Skiing Co. and its owners, the Crown family. A limited number of passes are allocated for donations of $100,000 for one, or $160,000 for a pair.

Many local families have established special funds to support the foundation in its work with nonprofits. Among those who contribute to early-childhood education include Barbara and John Gold, who established a precollegiate scholarship fund that provides money to Latinos who want to attend college (they are often the first in their families to go to college).Offices for the Aspen Community Foundation are in the Red Brick Center for the Arts on Hallam Street.A “Save the Date” is for the Aspen Art Museum’s annual holiday “Freestyle” fashion show and auction with Dennis Basso, Bulgari, Aspen Magazine, Sentient and Christie’s. Peder and Alisa Tillung, of Carbondale, have announced the birth of their daughter, Faith Elizabeth, on Oct. 5. New big sister, Trinity, welcomes her little sister home.

An eclectic art show, titled “In Lieu of Cake,” will open Nov. 1 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Red Brick Center for the Arts. Artists showing their creations include Dianna Fritzler, Elizabeth Lynch, Mary Mansfield, Damian Radice, Dawn Sagar and Diana Woods. Christopher Walling, Aspen and New York jewelry designer, is having his first show at a Paris museum in a show titled “Perles: une histoire naturelle.” The show opens this week at the Jardin des Plantes-Grande Galerie de l’Evolution in Paris, and Christopher is showing two pearl pieces, a flower pin and a necklace.I saw in the newspapers that Werner von Trapp, a member of the musical family made famous by the 1965 movie “The Sound of Music,” died at the age of 91 at his home in Vermont. Born in 1915 in Austria, he was the fourth child and second son of Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead. In the movie, Werner was depicted by the character named Kurt. The connection to Aspen is with former longtime residents Adolph and Liz Wallner. Adolph was a nephew of the Captain and settled in Aspen after World War II with Liz and their children, Vanessa, Alexi, Karl and Liddly. Also coming to Aspen in the 1960s and buying The Golden Horn restaurant was Hubert Erhard, who had grown up with Adolph in Austria. Adolph’s grandfather was a past president of Austria. Adolph and Storrs Bishop built the Kandahar Apartments on Main Street.Undercurrent … During these stormy wintry days … it is comforting to curl up by the fireplace and reread a favorite book … it’s like having a visit with an old friend.

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