Youth Center depends on passage of 1A |

Youth Center depends on passage of 1A

Dear Editor:

On Nov. 1 Pitkin County voters will have the opportunity to vote for the renewal of the Healthy Community Fund tax – Referendum 1A. Since its creation in 2002, this fund has supported over 60 nonprofit organizations in our valley. The Healthy Community Fund tax sunsets in 2012.

The intent of the Healthy Community Fund (HCF) is to provide a stable source of funding to local nonprofit organizations that offer critical health and human services and community resources to the residents and workers of Pitkin County. The HCF supports programs that are dedicated to strengthening the quality of life in Pitkin County.

At the Aspen Youth Center, we realize that this is not a popular time to ask for voters to approve a tax increase – even a small one. However, we cannot overstate the impact this fund has had on our organization. While the grant money we receive from this fund is only 3 percent of our budget, it is money we can rely on and can, then, leverage for support from other funders.

The support Aspen Youth Center receives from HCF allows us to provide after-school and summer programs to over 1,300 youth in the valley, many of whom come from working families who depend on our services. The number of visits to our facility continues to increase, while our funding resources are decreasing. This was our busiest summer on record averaging 78 youth per day!

If the Healthy Community Fund tax is not renewed, the Aspen Youth Center will lose crucial support from Pitkin County at a time when we need funding more than ever!

We hope you will consider the Aspen Youth Center, along with the many other valuable nonprofit organizations that will benefit from the passing of Referendum 1A, when you submit your ballot.

Please vote yes for Referendum 1A.

Keith Berglund and Sarah Visnic

Co-directors, Aspen Youth Center

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