SOS Outreach held annual Youth Summit on Saturday, Feb. 1 |

SOS Outreach held annual Youth Summit on Saturday, Feb. 1

SOS founder Arn Menconi and Vail Resorts Echo's Nicky DeFord speak to SOS kids at the fifth annual SOS Youth Summit held at the SIA show in Denver.
Special to the Daily |

DENVER — SOS Outreach held the fifth annual Youth Summit on Feb. 1 during the Snowsports Industries American Snow Show, recognizing corporate contributions to youth development. This year, SOS Outreach presented the Social Impact Award in Youth Development to Nicky DeFord, of Vail Resorts Echo and Chaos Hats. Not only have these recipients helped SOS Outreach in years past, but they continue to positively affect the communities they serve.

Kevin Pearce was the keynote speaker. Pearce recently showed his film “Crash Reel” at Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Center, depicting his rise to snowboarding stardom and prolific rivalry with Shaun White. Pearce’s rising career was stifled when he suffered a traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 Olympics. After being in a coma for a week and having to relearn most ordinary things, Pearce is now spearheading the “Love Your Brain” campaign, promoting helmet awareness around the globe. Kevin’s story is one of immense courage, making him a natural spokesman for SOS’s mission and core values. As he said at the Summit, “When you fall, you get back up.”

Commitment To SOS’ Mission

Both Chaos Headwear and Nicky DeFord were recognized for their commitment to SOS’ mission. Chaos Headwear has been giving consistently for more than a decade to youth nonprofits, including SOS Outreach, Outdoor Outreach, Big City Mountaineers, Boys & Girls Club of Denver, Steamboat Winter Sports Club and Vail Veterans, to name a few. The award demonstrated appreciation for the Tock family, who own Do-Gree Mills and the Chaos brand with president Richard Tock at the helm, David Tock as vice president, Matthew Tock in marketing and product development and Adam Tock in production.

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DeFord was recognized for her management of Vail Resorts Echo, the company’s corporate stewardship program. DeFord is responsible for the consistent growth of Vail Resort’s charitable contributions. Echo currently contributes $6.5 million in grants annually to more than 220 different charities to serve local populations and protect local landscapes. Through the Echo program, Vail Resorts employees volunteered nearly 16,000 annual hours and raised $500,000 each year for healthy forests. Thanks to Echo, 2,500 kids who had never been on a chairlift learned the passion of skiing through SOS Outreach.

The 5th Annual Youth Summit celebrated another great year of youth development, and inspired all attendees to work even harder to provide a positive influence for kids around the country.

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