Vail Valley Scenery: Vail Mountain Club raises a glass to United Way |

Vail Valley Scenery: Vail Mountain Club raises a glass to United Way

Jonathan Shamis and Carrie Benway.
Carolyn Pope | Special to the Daily |

United Way has a long history in the country and in our valley. Nationally, United Way has been around for 125 years and began in Denver with a woman, a rabbi and two ministers. In our valley, United Way has been helping out locals for 20 years and going strong.

The national organization and the chapter in our valley have consolidated for one mission: advancing the common good. They are accomplishing this by focusing on income stability, health and education. This week, the Vail Mountain Club held a wine tasting for its members to raise some money for the organization.

‘Supporting the whole Valley’

Jonathan Shamis is a new board member who is also new to the valley.

“United Way has a universality of philanthropy,” he said. “When you contribute, you are supporting the whole valley.”

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

For many nonprofits, United Way’s support can make a huge difference in what they’re able to accomplish. A few of the organizations that have received grants include Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, Habitat for Humanity, The Hospice of the Valley, the Red Ribbon Project and Small Champions. This year, more than $225,000 was pledged to their campaign, with 99 percent of the funds staying in the Eagle River Valley.

‘Trusted Brand’

Jarett Osborn, of Riverwalk Wine and Spirits, and Jamie Adams, of the Sorting Table Wines, poured seven different Italian wines for the members. They donated proceeds from all orders placed that evening to United Way.

Patsy Rowe, from Massachusetts, a member of the Vail Mountain Club, stepped up and offered a match of funds for those who donated that evening.

“I realized that although I was spending half my time in the valley, half my philanthropic dollars were not going here,” she said. “I’m here six months a year, and the United Way is here 12 months a year. They know the issues the community faces. They have done the research. That’s why I choose to give my dollars to this organization.”

Rhonda Salazar concurred.

“The United Way is a trusted brand, and we are able to leverage the donations by focusing on education, income stability and health care,” she said.

For more information on The United Way, visit or call 303-994-2622.

Carolyn Pope has covered community service events and nonprofit activities since 2001 and co-authored “The Women of Vail.” She can be reached at 970-390-9913.

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