Clubhouse Chronicles: City of Aspen wins AVSC’s annual Community Partner Award
AVSC Director of Development
Since the late 1800s, Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley have been a place where dreams can become reality. People have flocked from all over the world to experience our unique environment.
From the start, our landscape and communities have engrained strong values in those who inhabit them, including a love of the outdoors. Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke’s idea of “mind, body and spirit” is exemplified by our culture decades later; this is firmly imprinted on our citizens and reflected in the values the city of Aspen holds.
AVSC was born in 1937 from a community that believed kids and the outdoors are important parts of our culture. Through the past 84 years, the club has steadily grown, thanks to thousands of people, businesses and local officials that have supported AVSC and our goal to coach and inspire kids to excel and promote a community of passion, grit and mountain culture.
As we recognize athletes and key volunteers at the end of the season, Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club also recognizes an impactful community partner with an award. Many factors are taken into consideration: some years it is financial support, other years it is the creation of impactful opportunities that would not exist otherwise.
This year we celebrate the city of Aspen as our 2020-2021 Community Partner for a variety of reasons.
AVSC’s Nordic program benefits greatly from the city of Aspen’s commitment to maintain the many kilometers of world-class Nordic trails. On Wednesdays throughout the winter, you may see more than 100 kids, ranging from elementary schoolers to Olympic hopefuls, recreating and falling in love with the outdoors on the city’s trails. The city deserves acknowledgment for prioritizing, caring for and sharing our outdoor spaces.
Throughout the year, AVSC prides itself on holding several events on city of Aspen Property. Perhaps you have been to the Fourth of July picnic in Koch Park, or the Nordic Bonfire Dinner at the golf course. With the guidance of the city of Aspen special events department, we were able to reimagine our celebrations to have fun and serve the community while keeping in line with current guidelines and best practices.
The special events department has gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic, helping us find solutions versus putting up roadblocks. As a result, we were able to host a multitude of events in all disciplines for our athletes. In a year where many events and fundraisers were put on pause, the city of Aspen supported and guided us through hosting our 11th annual Audi Ajax Cup at Aspen Highlands.
Finally, the city of Aspen recognizes the financial disparities among families in our community and works to create opportunities for all. Last year the city awarded AVSC with a grant for the equivalent of 140 scholarships so that local youth could participate in mountain sports regardless of financial circumstances. This comes back to the values that created this amazing place we live: the outdoors are for everyone, and our community comes together to reduce barriers to entry in order to ensure equal access.
Our collective investment in youth will perpetuate the values and ideals that make the Roaring Fork Valley such a special place and help ensure its future. While AVSC has many important community partners, it is the city of Aspen’s turn to receive recognition for helping preserve what makes the Aspen area such an amazing place to grow up, a special place to visit and for many, a meaningful place to grow roots.
Clubhouse Chronicles is a behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club that runs periodically in the Outdoors and Sports sections.
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Dane Jackson and Hunter Katich took turns in the top spots at the GoPro Mountain Games freestyle kayaking competition on Saturday evening in Vail Village.