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Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Give a little, get a lot

Liz Adams
Vail Valley Charitable Fund
Liz Adams

I first understood the importance of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund’s mission back in 2002. A young man I worked with, Jeff, was told he had a brain tumor. This diagnosis would be overwhelming for anyone. It was particularly difficult for a young man who came to the valley “for a season” but loved it so much he decided to make his life here.

He didn’t have many resources. He had spent his extra money on gear rather than saving for a medical emergency. His family wasn’t near, but his family of friends rallied to support him. We helped him apply for financial assistance from the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. That assistance relieved some burden, but it wasn’t enough. With the help of the VVCF, we staged a fundraiser for Jeff. Someone got a local restaurant to host and we all solicited donations for a silent auction.

I remember how excited I was to pull together a donated trip with lodging and spa services for that auction. I thought I had an important job in real life, but working on this fundraiser was the most impactful work I had ever done.



Helping the Vail Valley Charitable Fund was at the top of my list of how I wanted to spend my time when I retired. I’ve been waking up early on LG Tri day each year since. I’ve had so much fun, I’ve been kicking myself that I didn’t volunteer while I was still working. I could easily have spared a few hours to help.

With the closure of the Eagle Pool this summer, this year’s LG Tri has pivoted to a fun celebration and 5K fun run on Friday, July 8, starting at 5 p.m. at the Eagle Ice Rink outdoor arena.



No matter your interests or what you hope to gain with your volunteerism, volunteering for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund will check your boxes. You get to work outside, typically on a lovely day putting on an event that people love to participate in — while also raising money for this important organization.

I thought I was giving to the VVCF, but each year I receive far more than I give.

I’m inspired by the athletes of all ages who splash, grind and sprint around Eagle. The kids who come back year after year raise my spirits — the first year they may cry when they get into the pool, the following year they cannot wait to do it again, and by year three they are the “experts.” Then there’s the 70-something who doesn’t look like an athlete but puts me to shame. The parents who wrangle their kids — some of them running the entire course multiple times to encourage each child. The huge smiles that cross that finish line.



I’m in awe of the family of Laura Genelin who inspired this event. Her son, who sings the national anthem each year, and all of her kids who race each year. I didn’t know Laura, but I know she would be so proud to be connected with this event.

All to raise money for neighbors who are having a medical crisis. All to create a community in our community.

Sadly, my friend Jeff lost his battle with cancer. But when things are so dire and it’s difficult to know how to help, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund helped us help him. The work they do is so important for so many. It’s one piece of the puzzle that makes this valley an amazing place to live.

So come on out and help with one or more of the VVCF events — the fun run and celebration in Eagle on July 8, and the Vail Valley Brew’au in Avon on Aug. 13. Spend a few hours being part of something really special. I’ll bet you will get more than you give.

Liz Adams is an avid Vail Valley Charitable Fund volunteer. Find out more about the VVCF’s mission at VVCF.org.


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