Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy

Deb Robbins
Vail Valley Charitable Fund
Deb Robbins with her husband, Rohn.
Special to the Daily

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” — Author Unknown

It didn’t take long after moving here for the volunteer bug to bite. We chose this beautiful valley to raise our family and felt welcomed upon arrival with two little boys. We quickly became engaged in figuring out what made this perfect place tick. It was about so much more than skiing. The neighborhoods, the schools, the celebrations, the traditions — all seemed to bond young and old, newcomers and natives. But the needs in our new community seemed glaringly obvious, as well.

Yes, there were those already trying to help by making this a better place. We dove in to help. We got involved in the kids’ schools, sports, scouting and more. It felt good to be a part of the team who was improving things. It felt good to know we were showing our boys how to be good citizens. Although it made for busy schedules, it was so rewarding.

Then came the Big Kahuna! When my husband, Rohn, discovered that a community member needed financial help to pay for medical care in a big way, bigger than a bake sale could raise, he founded the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.

Mind you, no one had ever heard of a GoFundMe page at the time. The eagerness to help each other was there, but there wasn’t a framework established to collect and distribute those funds locally. Plus, there were people who needed help who weren’t as well connected as others, but that didn’t mean that they needed it any less.

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And so it began. And continues.

The “good feels” generated by volunteering for the VVCF are enormous, but the pleasant side effect is that those who are receiving the financial assistance for their medical crises are also experiencing the good feels. The love and support of friends and family are visible, palpable and healing. And they help to grow this circle of community love.

So, join me in volunteering for the Vail Valley Charitable fund as we kick off our summer of love. The Summer Solstice Trail Run will be behind us by the time this is in print, but we need your energy and helping hands to make the LGTri a post-pandemic success. Let’s make its namesake proud. Go to or to volunteer July 10. I promise you won’t regret it.

Then, join Rohn and me to experience the magic of the next big community event, the Vail Valley Brew’au on Aug. 21 at Nottingham Park in Avon. Yep, the Big Kahuna.

We are celebrating 25 years since the Vail Valley Charitable Fund’s inception with a Brewfest and a huge Hawaiian lu’au, Vail style! You won’t believe it can be so fun to raise money for neighbors in need. Go to and to learn more.

In this challenging time of divisiveness, cast your vote for what kind of community you want to live in by volunteering. It will warm your heart!

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