Eagle County nonprofit honors two of its board members | VailDaily.com

Eagle County nonprofit honors two of its board members

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado – For the third year, youth outdoor charity SOS Outreach will be recognizing companies and individuals from the industry for their work in youth development. This year the awards go to Optic Nerve and Kat Jobanputra of Specialty Sports Venture.

The awards will be presented at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 29 during the Snowsports Industries of America trade show in Denver.

Optic Nerve and its president and owner, Bill Cotton, will receive the Corporate Social Responsibility award for the company that has worked to make a difference in the lives of youth. Optic Nerve, a Wheat Ridge-based sunglass and goggle company, has supported SOS Outreach and another youth nonprofit Big City Mountaineers for almost 15 years. The company has donated more than 10,000 goggles and sunglasses to youth programs, and Cotton, an Edwards resident, sits on SOS’ board of directors.

Cotton said Optic Nerve is grateful to be part of an industry that is passionate about outdoor recreation and healthy lifestyles.

“It’s fantastic that the snow and outdoor industry is experiencing a banner year,” he said. “Let’s all remember to help develop the next generation of industry leaders by continuing our support of nonprofit organizations like SOS Outreach who build character in underserved youth through outdoor experiences.”

Kat Jobanputra will receive the Humanitarian Award for his longtime commitment to youth programs. Jobanputra is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Specialty Sports Venture, a division of Vail Resorts. He has been involved with youth development both through SOS Outreach since 2002, providing countless equipment rentals to youth as well as sitting on the board of directors. He is also involved with the organizations Foresight Ski Guides and Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Jobanputra, who lives in the Denver area, said he wants to give back to a sport and industry that has given him a great career and a passion for the mountain.

“To share that experience is why I enjoy giving back,” he said. “Youth are the future of this industry, and I cannot think of anything more gratifying than to give back and allow them to share and experience this magical ride.”

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