Foundation gets a very big boost |

Foundation gets a very big boost

The Aspen Valley Community Foundation’s efforts to be less dependent on the Aspen Skiing Co. for financial support received a substantial boost this summer.

An anonymous contributor has just made a gift of $1.25 million to the organization, according to its summer newsletter. The organization, formerly known as The Aspen Foundation, will receive $250,000 for each of the next five years.

The foundation has been a major contributor to nonprofit organizations from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and beyond since 1980, when it was created as the philanthropic arm of the Skico.

The funds will be used to support programs and for grant making, the newsletter said.

The foundation has also been successful in raising an endowment fund through sales of silver medallion ski passes. The newsletter said 94 of 100 silver medallion passes have been sold.

Once the program is complete, it will raise about $5 million. People who contribute $100,000 are given two season ski passes that are valid for the next four years. Contributors of $60,000 are given one pass good for four years.

The program is intended to build an endowment that makes up for the loss of ski passes every year from the Skico. From 1980 through 1998, the Skico contributed 300 full-season, unrestricted passes annually to the foundation. The foundation presented them to people who contributed at least $4,000.

That program raised about $1 million annually for the foundation.

The Crown family, majority owners of the Skico, said last year they wanted to scale back their company’s support of the foundation and help transform it into more of a community-supported organization.

As part of that process, they contributed the 100 passes for the silver medallion program.

In addition, 150 bronze medallion ski passes, valid for the 1999-2000 season, have also been contributed to the foundation by the Skico. The bronze medallions are presented to people who contribute at least $6,000 to the foundation.

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