KPCW was one of 36 local nonprofit organizations that received a community grant from the annual EpicPromise Foundation Wednesday night.
Every year, Vail Resorts hands out more than $9.4 million in cash and in-kind support to more than 250 nonprofit partners in the mountain communities in which they do business.
Locally, the grants and contributions focus on youth programs and environmental initiatives that impact the Summit and Wasatch County communities.
Nicky DeFord, the Director of Community Investment for Vail Resorts says nearly $4 million was handed out on Wednesday night.
“Tonight, in Park City we gave $3.8 M in grants, which includes cash grants and in-kind grants to support fundraisers on the hill, auction items and actually most importantly, programs that get kids on snow," she said.
She says the company philosophy is that their resorts are only as strong as their communities.
“And it takes a village to bring all of the people together," she said." "We want, Park City Mountain, EpicPromise and Vail Resorts, really feel like it’s desirable to be strong partners in the community through grants, money, dollars, lots of time and volunteer time. We work closely with over 50 organizations in this community to identify issues, priorities, programs.”
With so many nonprofits to choose from, she says it takes a committee to decide how the money is divvied up.
“It’s very hard to decide who gets what," she said. "It’s a process for us. All of the grants are determined locally so the Park city Mountain senior leadership team comes together and decides the grant. But they only do that after meetings with local non-profits - a lot of time actually with the community foundation to understand what they’re hearing in the community. We have senior leadership members who sit on a lot of different board and members of our team that sit on committees, so we get a lot of information in and then decide what are we going to give – what are the most critical things in Park City.”
While the grants are relatively new for Park City nonprofits, Vail Resorts has been awarding money for more than 25 years. You can find out how to apply to be an Epic Promise partner for next year. The link is here: http://www.epicpromise.com/community-support/grant-programs/