Aspen Times Weekly: All We Want … The Annual Nonprofit Wish List
December 10, 2015
Aspen may be a land of plenty. But it is also land with plenty of needs — at the holidays and all year-round
"It's nothing new to say that many of us are drawn to this valley for its stunning beauty and boundless recreational, intellectual and cultural activities. Yet within this seemingly perfect setting, our greater community is challenged by poverty, lack of opportunities, and feelings of hopelessness. These needs are real, year-round," says Tamara Tormohlen, executive director of the Aspen Community Foundation.
"Thankfully, it seems like for every cause there is an organization full of dedicated people making a difference. For 35 years, Aspen Community Foundation has been helping to focus these efforts. We've worked continuously to support our nonprofit organizations, many of whom are providing critical services on often very lean budgets."
According to the IRS, there are more than 500 registered nonprofits from Aspen to Parachute, but practically speaking, there are approximately 300-350 nonprofits actively working in the region.
“It’s nothing new to say that many of us are drawn to this valley for its stunning beauty and boundless recreational, intellectual and cultural activities. Yet within this seemingly perfect setting, our greater community is challenged by poverty, lack of opportunities, and feelings of hopelessness. These needs are real, year-round. Thankfully, it seems like for every cause there is an organization full of dedicated people making a difference.” – Tamara Tormohlen, executive director of the Aspen Community Foundation
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"These organizations depend on the tradition of year-end giving. The community's generosity and kindness during this season of giving can truly help a neighbor in need."
In addition to major players in the giving arena, such as the Aspen Community Foundation, Pitkin County Healthy Community Fund, Thrift Shop of Aspen, The Environment Foundation, the city of Aspen and other town's small community grantmaking programs, there are dozens of private/family foundations, individual donors and corporate support
Still, great need exists. So once again this holiday season, we asked our local nonprofits what their No. 1 need is. The outpouring of responses — and the breadth of the requests — surprised us. And it made us realize that we can all make a difference to our neighbors in need. We hope you you'll read this and give generously where you can.
Here are their wishes, in their own words.
EDUCATION & YOUTH SERVICES
Aspen Education Foundation
Top on our wish list is to maintain the teacher salaries and programs we fund and help ease our current annual funding deficit of $1,300 per student or $2.2 million annually. Please contribute to AEF by attending our Flamingo event on January 9, 2016, or through a direct donation.
Brooke Bedingfield, Executive Director, http://www.aspenaef.org, 970-429-3626
Aspen Music Festival and School
Donations of string instruments (violins, violas, and cellos) for children to use in our Beginning Strings program (active in schools from Glenwood to Aspen), or funds we can use to purchase instruments. More than one hundred children are studying music, receiving lessons and participating in string ensembles, and a great many come from families unable to provide the instruments. We have a great scholarship program already, but the more community support, the better.
Alex Brose, Vice President for Development, abrose @aspenmusic.org, 970-205-5060; Katie Hone Wiltgen, Education and Outreach programs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen Science Center
Funding for our winter Science Cafes! The Science Cafes are on most Wednesdays in January and February, right before the DeWolf Lectures on Physics at the Wheeler. We are seeking funding for refreshments and other expenses associated with these events.
David Houggy, email@example.com
Aspen Youth Center
In addition to financial gifts in support of our free after-school and all day summer programming, Aspen Youth Center is in need of a new bumper pool table. Do you remember bumper pool? Maybe not, but the kids at AYC LOVE to play against each other and the staff. This game helps teach youth about winning and losing, improves their motor skills and it¹s simply a lot of fun. Our current table is wobbly, has torn felt, is over 15 years old (probably much older), and is in desperate need of replacing. A bumper pool table runs approximately $2500.00 but will be used for many years to come.
Keith Berglund, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970.544.4132
The Buddy Program
The Buddy Program needs a van! We are looking for fund for or to have donated a 12-passenger new or used van for our LEAD Programs activities, camps and trips. This program will be expanding from Carbondale to Basalt in 2016, and with more kids and more activities, our van rental fees are through the roof!
David Houggy, email@example.com, 970-920-2130
The Cottage Preschool
Our wish list includes a light table for the toddler room, a new circle carpet for our pre-K, a baby bjorn, and a trampoline for our preschool classroom. Happy Holidays!
Christina Holloway, firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Learning Center
We have 115 children currently enrolled in our school and are in great need to update our lighting in our classrooms with LED lights/fixtures. We were able to install 3 out of the 8 classrooms last year but our funds were limited to complete the project. In the 3 classrooms that were upgraded to LED lights, you can see such a big difference and the children can see everything around them better. So our #1 Wish would be support of funds for 5 classrooms to upgrade to LED light fixtures.
Kelly Beal, Executive Director, http://www.earlylearningaspen.com, 970-920-9201
Junior Achievement of the Roaring Fork Valley provides financial literacy programs to local K-12 classrooms, and we need community volunteers to teach these simple and FUN pre-set lessons! JA volunteers are given the lesson plans that teach critical lessons on budgeting and saving money, using credit wisely and how money works in an economy. TOTAL time commitment is just 30-45 minutes per week for 5 or 6 weeks. This is a FUN way to help a local teacher — SMALL commitment with a BIG impact on our kids!
Laura Seay, email@example.com
Little Red School House
Little Red School House is a year round Preschool and Toddler Center in Snowmass Village. Our biggest need is funding for the continuation of construction on our natural playground. We are moving from traditional to all natural to enhance the children's appreciation of their natural surroundings and increase their curiosity in learning.
Robin Sinclair, Director, mylittleredschoolhouse.org, 970.923.5020
Our wish list items include: Tax deductible (Colorado tax CREDIT available) cash contribution to support working families who need help paying for childcare; Community member to serve on the Kids First Advisory Board; Your volunteer expertise in advertising and publicity; Volunteers that we can match with programs for reading to children or helping with field trips; New or gently used books for babies, toddlers and preschool age children.
Shirley Ritter, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-920-5370
Marshall Direct Fund
To go from good to great we need $25,000 to provide 250 scholarships to meet the increasing demand for education and training for impoverished youth and young women in Pakistan. Quality education and vocational skills allow them to chose peace and prosperity over violence and despair. Funds will also help us to grow our modern day pen pal program which meaningfully connects youth in the valley with students in Pakistan.
Jodi Fischer, Executive Director, http://www.marshalldirectfund.org, 970.963.3150
Shining Stars Foundation
Our wish is to give hope to kids with cancer! Your tax deductible donation of $1,500 will sponsor a child, $250 will help us purchase adaptive athletic equipment, and $50 will help us purchase medical supplies. We are hosting a toy drive until December 18 with drop off locations in Aspen, Basalt, and Glenwood Springs. To see a list of locations or make a cash donation visit http://www.ShiningStarsFoundation.org
Rosemary White, 970-726-8009,Rosemary@ShiningStarsFoundation.org
Our biggest need is donations for scholarships for our substance abuse group, Seeking Safety. A full scholarship would be $180 for 12 weeks of group.
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES / OTHER
Aspen Community Foundation Our No.1 wish is that: "Every community member makes a gift to a nonprofit whose work they care about."
Tamara Tormohlen, Executive Director, email@example.com,, 970.925.9300
The Aspen Hope Center
Financial support is always needed to keep our crisis services free to the community. But we are also in need of 2 new laptop computers so that when our clinicians are mobile or on scene, they can still have access to the agency system, forms and resources.
Michelle Muething, 970-925-5858, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Aspen Valley Hospital
Our wish remains to help and heal all who seek care at Aspen Valley Hospital. To support that wish, our greatest need is for funding to help bring critical, life-saving, new facilities and equipment to our community.
Deborah Breen, email@example.com, 970-544-1302
Community Health Services
Diapers for infants (sizes 1, 2 or 3) are on the Wish List for Community Health Services this year. We would love to be able to give each new mom that we serve a starter kit of diapers. This is a necessity for new parents and an expensive one. We serve about 50 women per year.
Liz Stark, Director, 970-920-5010
Family Visitor Program
Financial support to help us continue to provide, free of charge, home educational services to new parents in the area. Gift cards from City Market, Walmart, Target, Bus Passes, etc., to help families that are struggling to support their families.
Sandy Swanson, 970-945-1234, firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat.email@example.com, HabitatRoaringFork.org, 948-7207
We are a totally volunteer operation with no paid staff that provides new gifts and food gift cards to 250 families (approximately 1,000 people) who are in need in our valley. Our greatest need is City Market food cards, any other gift cards, and cash donations. Our address is Holiday Baskets
Anne Blackwell, Chairperson, 536 W. North St.
Our wish list includes donations to help underinsured women in Eagle, Garfield & Pitkin counties afford co-pays for diagnostic procedures after an abnormal mammogram or if they find a lump; and bilingual (English/Spanish) volunteers to provide Breast Cancer 101 education in Eagle, Garfield & Pitkin counties.
Roxanne Johnson, Director of Development & Marketing, 303-518-5478
Pathfinders would love to have the following wishes fulfilled: gas gift cards; grocery gift cards; restaurant gift cards; certificates for any kind of self care service like facials massages, etc.; money donations
Allison Daily, 970-379-5276
Feed My Sheep
We are a non-profit organization that provides for the spiritual needs, education, advocacy and a multitude of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of people struggling with poverty. Help us continue our Programs that aim to break the cycle of homelessness by providing its guests with the tools and resources needed to recover and maintain an independent and self-sufficient life.
Karen Peppers, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our No. 1 need is food gift cards for clients.
Jill Gruenberg, email@example.com, 970-920-5357
Tom's Door opens doors to those in need from Aspen to Rifle. Our annual Holiday appeal is underway for cash donations; hand-crafted greeting cards are also on sale.
Our neighbors who need a bit of help this winter thank you!
Carbondale Chamber of Commerce
The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce¹s #1 need would be volunteers for our POSSE. The POSSE is the Volunteer and Goodwill committee of the Carbondale Chamber, and helps organize Business After Hours, Ribbon Cuttings and other Chamber events, and represent the Chamber in a professional and positive manner.
Colorado Animal Rescue
We would love to have more dog and cat toys for enrichment.
Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership
We need more people willing to "step up" to community leadership roles and opportunities in both political and non-political arenas. We ask that you donate to RFCCL¹s scholarship fund to develop our communities next leaders or apply to be a participant in the RFL Class of 2017.
Andrea Palm-Porter, 970-922-6035, firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTS & CULTURE
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
For Anderson Ranch, we wish for donations for the Scholarship Fund to support the necessary costs for our scholarship students that are in addition to tuition: $50 – $175 supports supply fees, $255 supports one week of meals, $450 supports one week of housing.
Nancy Wilhelms, Executive Director, 970.923.3181 x 203
The Art Base
We would absolutely love a gift to our annual fund, enabling us to provide art classes for the at-risk and under-served, including the developmentally disabled, teen parents and youth in addiction recovery. Help us ensure that our existing art clubs, summer camps, mentorships, and workshops remain accessible to all ages and abilities. Thank you!
Genna Moe, email@example.com, (970)404-5055
Aspen Historical Society
Our wish list: $7,000 to repair the gutters on our 128-year-old Wheeler/Stallard House.
Christine Benedetti, Director of Marketing, (970) 925.3721/102
Airline miles or donations to cover travel and accommodations for filmmakers at the 25th Anniversary Aspen Shortsfest (April 5-10, 2016), who not only present their work to audiences, but visit classrooms in Aspen and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.
Erin Wilson, 970.306.0662, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen Public Radio
While radio can seem like magic -simply turn it on and there we are — it is a technical feat requiring thousands and thousands of dollars of equipment which need upkeep and replacement all the time. The system that runs our programming is a computer, and is backed up by a redundant system. That system is old and in need of replacement. If the backup system failed, we could stay on the air by broadcasting directly from our satellites and/or by playing cds but we would not have the great mix of programming that we air today. We are in need of a replacement backup system which is built by a company called ENCO. The cost is $4700.
Carolyne Heldman, 970-920-9000
We're looking to replace our longtime Aspen Summer Words sponsor ($150,000) with a
wonderful local business or couple. Recognized as one of the country's per-eminent literary conferences, Summer Words welcomes visitors and locals alike to Aspen each June, to celebrate both award-winning and up-and-coming writing. We'll give back endless gratitude and marketing opportunities.
Jamie Kravitz, Program Manager, 970.925.3122, ext 2#, email@example.com
Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Help JAS keep the music playing in the New Year with donations toward the JAS Stuff for Students Program, placing new instruments into our local schools.
Aspen Poets' Society
Our No. 1 wish would be to have somewhat re-design our out-dated and somewhat stalled website. We would also appreciate a be a good mic and speaker system for our Live Poetry Nights.
Lisa Max Zimet, Co-founder and Secretary/Treasurer, 379-2136
Hudson Reed Ensemble
Our top priority and need is for rehearsal space.
Kent Reed, firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Brick Center for the Arts
Our biggest area of need in 2016 is hosts for our First Thursday Openings. We¹re looking for contributors who want to ensure our Openings remain exciting, well attended events that continue to highlight the strength and importance of local art in Aspen. Hosts are asked to contribute $1500 to cover the cost of the openings or may opt to co-host with someone else (who we find) for $750. A collaborative group of contributors would also be welcome!
Angie Callen, executive director, email@example.com, 970-429-2777
Roaring Fork Valley Spellbinders
A mere $2,000 would allow us to bring Spellbinders lead trainer to this Valley to certify our own Trainers and make sure we are using the latest and greatest techniques to train volunteers to connect with Valley kids to build literacy, character and community.
Catherine Johnson, Executive Director, http://www.spellbinders.org
Our number one need is someone to underwrite 20-25 tickets for our December teen production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, so that we may invite a group from English in Action to come to our show! Kids tickets are $12/adults $20.
Regna Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
A 12-15 passenger van to efficiently and safely transport program participants between ACES' four sites and off-site locations. ACES also has need for a two stage gas snowblower for its Hallam Lake site to maintain safe winter access to the 25-acre nature preserve and visitor center. Both items welcomed new or used in good condition. Christy Mahon, 970.925.5756, email@example.com
Aspen Valley Land Trust
Aspen Valley Land Trust could use a small pickup and one or two tablets!
Suzanne Stephens, Associate Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970.963.8440
Forest rangers and forest ambassadors to help us protect our forest today and preserve it for a lifetime of tomorrows. Thank you.
Marcia Johnson, Executive Director, 970-963-8071, http://www.forestconservancy.com
Wilderness Workshop is trying to expand its outreach in our community and needs to enhance its communications technology to do so. The following tools will help us with our effort: large format, hi-res plotter; hi-res, hi-quality digital camera; hi-power, hi-res portable digital projector; exchange server / file server.
Rebecca Mirsky, Development Director, email@example.com, 970.963.3977, ext. 11
sPORTS & RECREATION
Ascendigo offers athletic experiences for children and young adults with autism is in need of
a 15 passengers van. Or donations toward one. We'd love to have our own instead of renting one every year.
Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
With over 70% of our participants requiring full financial aid, we are in need of contributions for our scholarship fund. At Aspen Camp of the Deaf, we create an environment that fosters self-esteem, life-long friendships, and a sense of community. Your gift has the power to change a life! We are requesting multiple scholarships at $1,399 for each session.
Aspen Junior Hockey
Donations to The Aspen Junior Hockey Scholarship Foundation which allows athletes to participate who normally could not afford the cost.
Blake Hull, http://www.aspenjuniorhockey.com, 970.379.0599
At the top of Challenge Aspen's holiday wish list is $7,000 to cover participant transportation costs from Denver International Airport to Snowmass Village so that we continue to connect, encourage and inspire individuals and families by presenting meaningful recreational, educational and cultural experiences to individuals faced with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Alli Stitle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-923-0578
Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association
Show your love for great mountain bike trails by becoming a Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association & IMBA member! You'll be supporting our mission to create and sustain the best possible trail system locally, while also supporting IMBA¹s broader efforts across the country and around the globe. Memberships start at $30
Mike Pritchard, executive director, (970) 948-3486, http://www.rfmba.org
Inspire a 2-wheeled revolution! Give a member of our community the convenience, flexibility, and independence of bike share as a healthy form of mobility. Donate to WE-cycle's Pass Scholarship Fund, founded by its Board of Directors, to provide free bike share passes to those in need.
John Barker, email@example.com, 970.205.9222
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