Riding every Vail lift will raise funds for reading | VailDaily.com

Riding every Vail lift will raise funds for reading

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” By riding a lot of chairlifts on Vail Mountain, skiers and snowboarders can help fund a scholarship in a developing country.

Ski to Read will kick-off Saturday in Vail to benefit Room to Read, a program that works in developing countries to build schools, libraries, and develop educational programs for students.

The idea is to ride all 32 of Vail’s lifts (or as many as possible), and get pledges for each lift, said organizer Meg Elliott.

Participants will start out at the base of the gondola Saturday morning to collect their T-shirt, goody bag and lift check-off card. At each lift, skiers can mark off a spot on their card, and the day will end with an celebration.

Elliott, a former Edwards resident, hopes to raise $9,000 through the event. The proceeds will go straight to Room to Read and will be enough to build an entire library and fund two long-term student scholarships.

It is a great chance to get out on the slopes and help a worthy cause at the same time, Elliott said.

“This is a unique fundraiser because it doesn’t just ask donors to give money, but encourages participants to work hard for it,” she said.

Elliott, a communications major at University of Colorado at Boulder, got the idea for the fundraiser after reading John Wood’s book, “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World,” in a nonprofit organization class.

Wood, a former Microsoft executive, began Room to Read after visiting Nepal and being inspired by how excited students were to learn, despite having limited resources. The program started in Nepal in 2003 and has since expanded to Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Laos and South Africa.

The program publishes local language books, builds schools and reading rooms and funds girls’ scholarships.

Elliott and a friend decided to take on the fundraiser as their final project for the class.

“It could be a paper, or anything, but we decided to do something bigger. It’s the first fundraiser I’ve done, and it’s been extremely challenging. There’s just a lot of work that goes into it,” she said.

The fundraiser is sponsored by Vail Resorts, Paragon Guides and other local businesses.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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