Vail Valley Charitable Fund: The power of one |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: The power of one

Mary McDougall
Special to the Daily

The other day I was listening to my favorite band, The Beatles, as I am wont to do. In one classic song, John sings “one and one and one is three.“

At the same time, I was reflecting on my past 32 years of living here in the Vail Valley, and this phrase stuck with me. Because, yes, one plus one plus one equals three … but does it? My experiences have led me to believe that it equals so much more … one plus one plus one equals a community. And community is what life here is all about.

I believe in the power of one: Each of us has a strength, a talent, or a trait that can make a difference in a unique way. It might be the impact you make in the work that you do; the part you play in your circle of family and friends; or it might just be in small acts of kindness you make during the course of a regular day … giving a warm morning greeting to a coworker (or a stranger?), taking a little extra time and care for the customer who seems to need it, or picking up a dropped pole for the skier ahead of you that just bit it on Golden Peak (thank you to the kind soul who did this for me last week).

I call these little things “pushing it out,“ and believe the reward is in the karma that comes back to you. Sometimes it’s in a day, a week, or a year later, and sometimes it’s instant!

But when a group of “ones” band together to make a community, the resulting force is intense. I have found this to be especially true in my role as a board member of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. The VVCF provides financial assistance to locals who are in crisis due to a medical condition or accident. But the VVCF isn’t just the “ones” of us who serve on the board and meet each month to plan fundraising and disburse grants to those in need.

The strength of the VVCF comes from all of the “ones” that make up our community, who come together to help us raise funds, volunteer at the events, and offer their financial support to the organization. It also comes from the “ones” who are brave enough to come to us for assistance during the toughest moments of their lives.

So, if you are interested in exercising your power of one, let us know. There are opportunities coming up this summer for you to participate or volunteer at a VVCF event: the Summer Solstice Race on June 19; the LG Tri on July 10; and our VVCF 25th Anniversary event on August 21!

Or, if you are a “one” who finds you need a little help from your friends, please go to or contact Brooke Skjonsby, executive director, at The VVCF is here for all of the “ones” that make up our beautiful community.

Mary McDougall is a VVCF board member and Vail Public Library team member.

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