Event gives Spring Board jumping-off point to future | AspenTimes.com

Event gives Spring Board jumping-off point to future

Naomi Havlen

A group of locals who donate funds to Roaring Fork Valley nonprofits is holding an annual fund-raiser Friday at The Cantina, calling the gathering “Give some, get some.”Spring Board, a volunteer board of residents ages 21 to 35, is hoping other residents will give $30 at the door to get appetizers, margaritas, beer and participation in a silent auction that benefits their annual grant-making process. The Aspen Community Foundation founded the board in 1997 as an opportunity for young people to get involved in local philanthropic efforts.The foundation gave Spring Board $50,000 each year for grant-making, and board members chose local nonprofits through extensive interviews and applications to support through grants. But last year the Community Foundation decided to reduce the amount of program work it does in the valley and focus on its own fund-raising.Tamara Tormohlen, managing director and incoming executive director of the Community Foundation, said Spring Board’s members had a number of choices to make last year, including whether to dissolve their organization or to spend the last $50,000 from the community foundation and call it quits.Instead, Spring Board decided to establish itself as a donor-advised fund and to use the $50,000 from the Community Foundation as a nest egg while it tries to raise funds for future grant-making.”They’re an amazing group of young people, and they put so much time in Spring Board and really care about what they are doing,” Tormohlen said. “They know what it’s like to have to interview nonprofits and have to decline people, and now they’re learning more about what it takes to raise $10,000. They’re definitely very capable.”Jenny Constable, current chairwoman of Spring Board, said becoming a donor-advised fund means the board doesn’t yet have to establish its own nonprofit status but can get tax-deductible donations from the public while using Aspen Community Fund resources.”But one of the biggest changes is that we’re having to do our own fund-raising,” Constable said, noting that Give some, get some is the board’s main fund-raiser for the year. “We hope to raise between $8,000 and $10,000, and 15 percent of what we raise this year is going to hurricane relief.”Constable said the organization’s mission is to educate young people about the impact they can have on the community through volunteerism and philanthropy. Besides choosing nonprofits to give grants to each year, Spring Board has a list of people it e-mails regularly featuring local opportunities for volunteerism.”So many people in the valley are constantly busy, but if you don’t start a habit of volunteerism and philanthropy at a young age, it may never enter your life,” she said. “I think just being on Spring Board has helped me become a better employee and a better friend.”In 2005, Spring Board gave grants to organizations including Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment, Rocky Mountain Student Filmfest, Tomorrow’s Voices, Aspen Camp School for the Deaf, YouthZone and Anderson Ranch Arts Center.The Give some, get some fund-raiser is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 before Friday, and $30 at the door. The cost of admission includes appetizers, drinks, a silent auction and music from DJ Naka G. To buy a ticket, contact Lisa Hall at 379-9481.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com