Foundation awards over $200K in community grants |

Foundation awards over $200K in community grants

Steamboat Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Nate Daughenbaugh and Born Free Wildlife Rehabilitation founder Tracy Bye release a bald eagle that spent three months recovering from lead poisoning. (File photo by Matt Stensland)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Grants from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation will be feeding raptors delicious frozen rats this year while also providing preschoolers in South Routt with swings for their new playground.

The Foundation gave out $214,100 to 52 nonprofits in Routt and Moffat counties. There were 56 applicants requesting $265,000, which means most applicants got partial or full funding.

“The YVCF gave us $7,000 so we can complete our entire playground project,” said Cindy Ashley, director of Soroco Preschool in Yampa.

Ashley said the funds will be matched by the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, which has already given the preschool more than $50,000.

“The kids haven’t had a playground since early September. They’ve been watching the whole (building) process out the window,” Ashley said.

The Yampa preschool offers year-round programming for 3- to 5-year-olds as they get ready for kindergarten.

Meanwhile, in Steamboat Springs, Born Free Wildlife Rehabilitation requested $2,000 for frozen jumbo rats to feed eagles, falcons and hawks. Born Free rehabs birds and raptors so they can be released back in the wild. They rely solely on donations and grants.

The foundation raises and manages funds that support community programs in the Yampa Valley.

About $21,000 more was granted this year because more people are establishing donor-advised funds, and endowments are growing.

Donor-advised funds are a way for people to give tax-deductible contributions to qualified nonprofits through the foundation.

“It’s money in and money out,” said Helen Beall, the foundation’s marketing director.

“Donor-advised funds are established in your lifetime, and the donor usually has an active role in making grants,” Beall said.

Whereas endowments are usually monetary legacies left behind after death that generate interest, which is used for funding.

Steamboat Resort also contributes through the Passport Club program by donating valuable ski “medallions,” which are sold by the foundation. Medallions allow anyone to ski any time and are often used by businesses and vacation homeowners.

Other grant recipients this year include Integrated Community, which serves immigrant residents in Routt and Moffat counties. The nonprofit received $5,000 for their resource and referral services, which helps immigrants connect to agencies that will help integrate them into local society.

The Community Assistance Fund, which works with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue also received $5,000. The money will go to support a rapid-response program during critical incidents such as suicide. Beall said research shows that immediate mental health support after these tragic emergencies drastically improves long-term health and functionality of affected individuals.

Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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