Inaugural Mountain Recreation gear swap raises $1,250 for scholarships
The funds will go to help ‘level the playing field’ for rec access
On Aug. 19 and Aug. 20, Mountain Recreation hosted its inaugural gear swap to raise funds for the Mountain Recreation Foundation Youth Scholarship Fund. Over the two days, nearly 140 community members attended the event, raising around $1,250 for the fund.
“We thought it was a huge success for the first time,” said Lizzy Owens, the community engagement manager for Mountain Recreation. “We were able to help local families clear gear out of their homes and were able to help other families get new-to-them gear. From kayaks to soccer balls, there was really something for nearly everyone.”
The swap brought in equipment from the myriad sports and activities one can participate in throughout the year in Eagle County. This included the to-be-expected mounds of hockey, biking and ski equipment as well as a few fun additions like a pogo stick and set of stilts, Owens said.
Plus, even the gear that wasn’t taken over the two days will still find a good home. Any kids items were donated to United Way’s Youth Closet, with some of the skates and hockey equipment staying at the Mountain Recreation outdoor ice rink in Edwards and the rink in Eagle Town Park as well as to “local partners and friends,” Owens said.
During the swap, Mountain Recreation allowed community members to make a donation at checkout for the items selected, with all proceeds benefiting the scholarship fund.
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“Not only were we able to help folks in a tangible way, our community members generously donated to the Mountain Rec Foundation and that will help even more families in our community,” Owens said.
The Mountain Rec Foundation Youth Scholarship Fund allows the local rec district to award $20,000 annually to youth across the valley to participate in sports leagues, summer camps, learn-to-swim lessons, and gymnastics as well as access to the district’s three facilities through annual memberships.
“This $1,250 will go a long way to help level the playing field,” Owens said.
And following the success of its first swap, the rec district is already looking ahead to its next swap and is hoping to start collecting gear in the spring.
“This was an awesome event that really brought the entire community together,” Owens said. “If our inaugural sports swap was this successful, we can’t wait to see what next year will bring.”