Mountains of Hope benefit dinner and auction raises $150,000 |

Mountains of Hope benefit dinner and auction raises $150,000

VAIL – The Vail Valley Foundation’s newest education initiative received a significant jump start March 24 as the drive to fund mobile pre-kindergarten learning busses kicked off with a $150,000 donation, raised during the Mountains of Hope benefit dinner and auction, held in conjunction with the 2006 American Ski Classic.Dubbed “Destination Discovery,” the new program will feature a fleet of vans that will travel throughout Eagle County, providing pre-kindergarten aged children with the opportunity to discover the wonders of learning about their world, encouraging creative expression and nurturing natural curiosity.Research into school success shows a direct link to the preparation that young children receive from the time they are born until they enter kindergarten. Young children who have the opportunity to engage in stimulating cognitive activities and nurturing social-emotional relationships are already ahead of their peers when they enter kindergarten.”Actively addressing the pre-kindergarten piece of our educational puzzle is critical to our overall success,” Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, said. “Studies have proven that for every pre-kindergarten dollar that is spent on our children, we save up to $17 over time in areas such as special education, health care and welfare payments. I can’t begin to thank everyone for their generosity at Mountains of Hope. The have started the wheels turning, both literally and figuratively.”The foundation estimates that they will need to raise a total of $270,000 to fund and facilitate the Destination Discovery program. Once fully funded, the program is tentatively slated to begin this coming fall. For additional information on Destination Discovery or other Vail Valley Foundation educational initiatives, call 949-1999.Vail, Colorado

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