Rockies Rock Adventure Camp participants help water plants at Cloud City Farm last summer. The camp is put on by Get Outdoors Leadville! with support from the Lake County Community Fund.

The Lake County Community Fund announced last week that for the second year, it has exceeded the goal to raise and match dollar-for-dollar the $50,000 Copper Mountain Resort challenge grant. The fundraising effort is part of a larger four-year endowment, called the Campaign for Lake County, with a goal to raise $400,000 to secure a strong, sustainable future for the residents of the greater Lake County communities.

“In a year faced with challenge and uncertainty, we’re appreciative of the donors who rose to the occasion in support of the Lake County community,” said Dustin Lyman, president and general manager of Copper Mountain. “We’re also really proud to ‘Play it Forward’ and support the greater Copper Mountain community through local relief efforts and financial contributions.”

With the Copper Mountain grant, the Lake County Community Fund (LCCF) will award $25,000 in 2021 to Lake County nonprofits engaged in outdoor adventure education, development of lifetime sports skills and environmental causes. The objective of the Copper Mountain grant program is to inspire a healthy adventure lifestyle among Lake County youth and protect our natural environment.

In the first two years of the Copper Mountain Resort challenge grant, 154 matching contributions have raised $293,000.

In 2020, the first year of the program, four Lake County nonprofit organizations were recipients of the Copper Mountain grant:

— The Center Early Childhood Programs: Funding for the “learn to ski” program for 20 pre-school aged children had to be reallocated for the 2020-21 season. Because ski lessons were not possible this season, the funds were used to distribute Family-Snow-Fun-Kits for all the children at The Center. The kits include a child sized snow shovel, craft kits, Cat in the Hat book and hot chocolate mix.

— Cloud City Conservation Center: Supporting the expansion and improvement of the community garden component of the Cloud City Farm to increase access to healthy food and reduce  food insecurity.

— Friends of Cloud City Ski Club: Purchasing rental cross-country ski gear for high school and middle school skiers in the Cloud City Ski Club programs.

— Get Outdoors Leadville!: Supporting Rockies Rock Adventure Camp, an eight-week summer enrichment camp for first through eighth grade youth.

“First and foremost, I want to express our appreciation to the 142 individual, corporate and foundation donors who helped us to actually more than double the $50,000 goal,” said Leadville Mayor and LCCF Board President Greg Labbe. “Copper’s commitment to supporting and promoting its community is a wonderful example of corporate philanthropy. This commitment during a very challenging year is inspiring others to support a thriving community in Lake County. Through Copper’s ‘Play it Forward’ focus on supporting grants that will develop a love of outdoor adventure and protect our natural environment, they are raising the bar for what it means to support worker communities, and we are very grateful.”

Copper Mountain’s funding of LCCF is part of the resort’s “Play Forever” corporate responsibility commitment to protect the environment and “Play it Forward.” Through “Play it Forward,” Copper Mountain supports local initiatives that enable a stronger community and create welcoming places for all to live the adventure lifestyle.

Lake County is an integral part of the wider mountain community. More than 70% of the Lake County workforce (3,092 people) are employed in Summit and Eagle Counties. Specific to Copper Mountain, a POWDR resort located in Summit County, more than 400 of Copper Mountain’s employees are residents of Lake County.

LCCF serves 7,778 community members in Lake County by providing a source of nonprofit funds to support local programs, projects and assets. Individuals who wish to give to a charity that supports the Lake County community can contribute to the fund and know their donation is going to a trusted source. Leadville and Twin Lakes nonprofits can apply for grants through the fund to further their missions which include the arts, environment, education, youth, health, community development and more.

The Copper Mountain challenge gift includes $50,000 in annual, one for one matching contributions to LCCF over a four-year period beginning in 2019. A portion of the gift will go to support the LCCF endowment, a permanent fund to support sustainability for the Lake County community. Another portion will be dedicated to supporting Lake County nonprofit organizations focused on outdoor adventure education and the development of lifetime sports skills, in addition to environmental initiatives. Criteria for these grants have been announced, and Leadville and Twin Lakes nonprofits may apply for grants to further their important missions.

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