Avon issues recommendations for its 2022 Community Grant Program
If approved, the grant program will distribute $88,950 in cash and $1,084 worth of in-kind contributions to the 17 organizations
A committee of Avon town employees and community members has recommended grants for 17 organizations as part of the town’s annual Community Grant Program.
In total, the grant program will distribute $88,950 in cash and $1,084 worth of in-kind contributions to the 17 organizations should the Town Council approve the recommendations as part of the 2022 budget on Dec. 14. Once approved, the town will distribute the funding in January.
“The Community Grant Program funds important programs and services for the community not offered by our local town, state or federal governments,” wrote Elizabeth Wood, the town’s communication and marketing manager, in an email. “Many of these services are in the areas of arts, culture, education, environment, health, heritage, housing, human services and recreation.”
The ad hoc review committee for the program included Wood; Ineke de Jong, general government manager; Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes; JK Perry from High Five Access Media; Kim Schlaepfer from the Climate Action Collaborative; and Katie Zinn from Access Unbound. This committee met in October to review the applicants and compile their funding recommendations.
Applicants ranged from local nonprofits to local affiliates of national organizations, as well as repeat and new applicants to the program.
According to Wood, four of the organizations were first-time applicants, including the Hope Center of Eagle River Valley, which requests funding for a full-time behavioral health clinician at Avon Elementary, and the Catholic Charities for Community Integration Services, which requests funding for an immigrant-services program.
“The opportunity for annual support means that new organizations can apply and get support to get programs and services off the ground,” Wood wrote.
Most of the organizations have received grants from the programs for several consecutive years. This includes funding provided to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund to serve Avon residents in financial need due to medical crises, as well as grants to the Mountain Healthcare Coalition to develop cost-effective, sustainable health coverage options. SpeakUp ReachOut, the valley’s suicide-prevention coalition, has also received funding, as well as the Vail Valley Salvation Army for its horticulture programming.
The funding recommendations ranged from in-kind donations of punch cards to the Avon Recreation Center to cash donations up to $10,000. The amount of funding, Wood said, was based largely on that program or service’s impact on the town and its residents.
“We seek to provide financial support that is proportionate to the expected benefits for the Avon community,” Wood wrote. “Many organizations serve multiple communities in Eagle County — and while we are happy to provide some support — we want to see programs and services that specifically benefit Avon residents.”
While the applicants do provide a wide variety of services and programs, Wood noted that many of them focus on underserved individuals, specifically children, in Avon. In the future, she added, the committee would love to see applications focused on filling the community housing need in the town.
The grants, as recommended, will be issued as listed below once the 2022 budget is approved.
- Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado: $750 to support the 2022 Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
- Bright Future Foundation: $6,000 cash and 10 rec center punch cards for its youth violence prevention services.
- Buddy Werner League: $1,000 for its volunteer coaches training program
- Catholic Charities: $3,000 for its community integration services or immigrants (including interpretation and translation, mediation over housing disputes and more).
- Eagle Valley Land Trust: $6,000 for stewardship and outreach for its Future Conservationists program, Community Land Connection series and Weed Warriors program.
- Education Foundation of Eagle County: $10,000 for STEM classroom grants and mental health resources for teachers.
- Hope Center of the Eagle River Valley: $10,000 for mental health clinicians at Avon Elementary.
- Loaves and Fishes Café at Eagle River Presbyterian Church: $3,000 for Wednesday night dinners at the church.
- Mountain Youth: $5,000 cash and four rec center punch cards for its outreach programming.
- Red Ribbon Project: $1,200 cash and one rec center punch card for its Youth Skills Building program.
- SOS Outreach: $8,500 for its outdoor mentor-based programs for local youth.
- SpeakUp ReachOut: $5,000 for its suicide prevention and stigma reduction project.
- United Way of Eagle River Valley: $5,000 for its a youth closet and toy chest.
- Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club: $2,000 cash and one rec center punch card for its scholarship fund, Program of Excellence.
- Vail Valley Art Guild: $2,500 for its Art the Valley program
- Vail Valley Charitable Fund: $10,000 for direct aid grants or residents who experience a medical crisis.
- Vail Valley Salvation Army: $10,000 for its Get Out and Grow Avon program.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.