Vote would help nonprofits | AspenTimes.com

Vote would help nonprofits

Local nonprofits identify this community.

For the past five years, Pitkin County has listened to many grant requests from valley nonprofit organizations. These organizations provide a valuable service, and the financial investment by the county is returned many times over in the specialized services and benefits offered to the community, benefits that the county either cannot or does not provide.

The total amount of grant approvals in 2002 is approximately $120,000. While this is not a large amount for the approximately 50 nonprofit agencies that may seek assistance, the grants offer seed money for a new organization (the Buddy Program began with a $2,500 grant for a good idea) or provide a statement of local community support for the idea and the organization.

Often, other outside grants follow this kind of local support, bringing a valuable infusion of needed funds into the valley. In these difficult economic times, many granting agencies have notified local nonprofits that former grant amounts will not be available in 2003. This fact, alone, makes the small county grants more important.

Also, and more important to me, THESE NONPROFITS IDENTIFY AND DEFINE WHO WE ARE AS A COMMUNITY.

A yes vote on Tuesday will enable the county to retain approximately $135,000 of already collected funds. That $4 tax assessed on a $500,000 home may then, instead of being returned to the taxpayer, be used to support the nonprofit organizations we know and love.

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Following is the list of nonprofit organizations that have received some level of funding in the last five years.

In 2002: Aspen High School Project Graduation, Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Institute, Aspen Snowmass Nordic Council, Aspen Valley Community Foundation, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, Aspen Wilderness Workshop, Basalt Project Graduation, GrassRoots TV, Healthy Mountain Communities, Independence Pass Foundation, Leadership Aspen, Roaring Fork Hospice, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, Rocky Mountain Restorative Justice, Spellbinders, White River Conservation District, Breast Cancer Research, Children’s Hospital, Coal Seam Disaster Fund, Glenwood Springs Housing, Jason Project.

In the years between 1997 and 2001: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Grassroots Aspen Experience, KAJX, Mount Sopris Soil Conservation District, Roaring Fork Legal Foundation, Roaring Fork Conservancy, Town of Basalt Recreation Center, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, American Red Cross, Aspen Junior Hockey Aspen, School District Mexico trip, Aspen Valley Land Trust, Australia Baseball, Aspen/Pitkin County Community Picnic, Aspen/Pitkin County Green Team, CORE, Energy Forum 2000, Girl Scout Troop, K-9 Uphill, Living Arts Foundation, Mother Lode Volleyball, Ralph Chaney/Disneyland, Roaring Fork Watershed Coalition, SADD national conference, and Sensible Growth.

Dorothea Farris

Pitkin County Commissioner