Student athletes still benefit from Alcorta’s good deeds | AspenTimes.com

Student athletes still benefit from Alcorta’s good deeds

Nick Alcorta was known for working tirelessly with kids in their athletic pursuits. (Courtesy Debbie Alcorta)

Nick Alcorta continues to help young athletes excel 18 months after his unexpected and tragic death.The Clinick Foundation established in Alcorta’s memory is preparing to award four scholarships to high school athletes in the Roaring Fork Valley to help them participate in college sports. “The foundation is doing essentially what Nick would have done,” said his wife, Debbie Alcorta. “Whenever there was a need, he found a way.”In this case, the foundation board saw a need to help student athletes continue to pursue their passions. Athletes in class 3A schools, which are medium-sized in Colorado, rarely capture the eyes of college recruiters, so they rarely receive scholarships to play college sports, Alcorta said.

So in the spirit of Nick – who tirelessly worked to help midvalley youth in a variety of sports – the foundation wanted to find a way to encourage seniors to keep pursuing a sport in which they excel.One senior attending high school in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt or Aspen will receive a $5,000 scholarship in spring 2006. Three scholarships for $1,000 each will be awarded to a student athlete at each of the other schools.The recipients will be judged on their athletic performance, grade-point average and completion of an essay that asks something like, “What does being a college athlete mean to you?” Alcorta said.Nick Alcorta died in March 2003 at the age of 39 while on the baseball diamond in a Las Vegas tournament. He had a previously unknown heart condition.

He was immensely popular with kids and parents because of his never-ending willingness to help young athletes. He ran the town of Basalt’s recreation program for a few years, organized midvalley Little League, coached the high school baseball team and helped numerous other programs.He earned the nickname “Clinick” in California, where he was always putting on a sports clinic of one type or another to help young athletes or adults who wanted to serve as referees, Alcorta said.The Alcortas have two sons, Dominick, 9, a third-grader, and Derek, 6, a first-grader. The boys miss their father, obviously, and continue to deal with ups and downs, Alcorta said.Although she doesn’t serve on the foundation’s board, Alcorta has high hopes for the nonprofit organization. She hopes it can expand to play a regional and even national role with scholarships. She also envisions it getting involved in matching grant programs where local high schools set a goal for a fund-raiser for some need in the athletic programs and the foundation matches the amount raised.

The foundation received its first funding boost in May, when the Alcorta Memorial Softball Tournament in Basalt raised $7,000. The second big fund-raiser will be Sunday and Monday. The foundation is the primary recipient of funds raised during the Cowboys & Caviar event and Roaring Fork Charity Class golf tournament.Cowboys & Caviar features music, auctions, a buffet of gourmet food, wine tastings and a martini bar at the Roaring Fork Club starting at 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available for $75.The charity classic tournament at the Roaring Fork Club will start at 9 a.m. Monday. Teams will consist of four amateurs and one pro or celebrity golfer. The entry fee is $250 per person or $1,000 per team. The fee includes one ticket per person to Cowboys & Caviar.For more information about either event, call the Clinick Foundation at 927-4646.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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