Vail Resorts boss Katz donates $1.6 million |

Vail Resorts boss Katz donates $1.6 million

Daily staff report

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts recently announced that company CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, cookbook author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, made personal contributions totaling $1.6 million to eight local nonprofit organizations in the communities where the company operates, including Eagle, Summit, Denver and Boulder counties in Colorado; Summit County in Utah; South Lake Tahoe in Nevada and North Lake Tahoe in California; the Resort Municipality of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada; and Lamoille County in Vermont. Each of the contributions will be directed toward programs that support children and families in these communities or improving local recreation opportunities.

‘work tirelessly’

“The welfare of children and families in our local communities who are most vulnerable requires our attention and we feel fortunate to be able to support some outstanding nonprofit organizations who work tirelessly to serve them,” Katz said. “We hope our contributions serve as a catalyst for others to join our efforts to help ensure the vibrancy of these incredible cities and towns.”

The $1.6 million contribution builds on Katz and Amsterdam’s previous commitments to those who are most in need in the company’s resort communities. In January 2016, the couple gave $1.5 million to the EpicPromise Foundation, which provides emergency relief to Vail Resorts employees in need. In October of 2016, they donated $2 million to 12 local nonprofits, funding programs for local youth and families, including basic needs, child care and mental health. These contributions help augment the more than $9 million per year donated by Vail Resorts to nonprofits across its mountain resorts.

child care

Our Community Foundation in Eagle County received $250,000. In Eagle County today, two main barriers to access to quality child care — cost and capacity — are leaving approximately 1,300 children ages five and under without licensed child care. According to the foundation, average annual child care costs range from $9,600 for a four-year-old to more than $12,000 for an infant. This grant will provide child care scholarships for Head Start families and long-term expansion of child care capacity in Eagle County. It also will help license 60 additional teachers in Eagle County. Combined with the scholarships, the grant will provide access to quality child care for 420 more children in the county.

“We know from a large body of research the importance of the early years in setting a strong foundation for children’s future learning and success,” said Kathryn Regjo, vice president of Colorado Mountain College Edwards campus. “The research also points to the importance of high-quality child care professionals. Colorado Mountain College is eager to grow and develop the passions, confidence and professional skills for those who care for our children. We are thrilled to be a partner in growing early childhood professional development throughout Eagle County. Through the generosity of this gift from Rob and Elana, early childhood teachers win, families win and most of all, our children win.”

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