Vail Valley Charitable Fund: A community that binds together |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: A community that binds together

Alex Kouliabou
Vail Valley Charitable Fund
Alex Kouliabou

There are moments and then there are events. Some of these events can truly change the path of our journey, not only in our personal lives, workplace and so on. This is exactly what I experienced back in early October when I fractured my right foot and ankle in multiple places while mountain biking on my home mountain of Vail. My life was flipped upside down.

Prior to my injury, one might say I was taking things for granted. My home, my work, the fact I was spending almost every single day on the mountain. What a lesson and a reminder of what’s really important in life this has been.

From not being able to work or snowboard to the mounting medical bills and not even being able to grocery shop by myself, it has been very tough physically and mentally over the last several months. This experience has taught me so much self-control as well as how to be calm and humble. I started reading my first book in over a decade and am attempting to learn the guitar. I have not given up hope yet on the latter part of the ski season, but deep down inside, I know that might be just wishful thinking.

That being said, the care and attention I have received from Vail Summit Orthopedics and Dr. Elton’s team have been truly a pleasant experience. From the surgery to the physical therapy appointments, I have felt that I was in the best hands possible. Also, the outpouring of support I received from my friends and coworkers has been so immense and helpful. From rides to my doctor appointments to bringing me groceries or just stopping by to check up on me.

I have been a resident of this valley since 2011 when I moved from New Hampshire in pursuit of something new, different and extraordinary. Since then, there hasn’t been a single doubt in my mind that it was the best decision I have ever made. This beautiful valley captured my heart and captivated me from the very first day I arrived. The local culture and the similar, positive mindset everyone enjoys here were also very inspiring.

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We are all so fortunate, lucky and grateful to call this valley “home.” Yet sometimes it’s hard to see or easy to forget the elements of our culture here that make it a community and bind us all together. Having organizations like the Vail Valley Charitable Fund is a true reminder of this. Because of my injury, I have been out of work for months including the time over the holidays. With the help from VVCF, not only was I able to stay on top of my bills but was also able to spend Christmas with my mother for the first time in 13 years, here in Vail, which made it even more of a special experience.

I am now searching for ways that I can give back somehow in any way possible. I know when I am healthy again my options will expand but for now, it certainly has been an honor spreading the word about the wonderful things that the Vail Valley Charitable Fund does for members of this community.

Alex Kouliabou is a grant recipient for Vail Valley Charitable Fund. Find out more about the VVCF’s mission at

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