RMYC introduces 1st Happy Trails fundraiser | SteamboatToday.com
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RMYC introduces 1st Happy Trails fundraiser

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is introducing its first annual Happy Trails Challenge, which will replace the Moonshine Ski and Dine as its annual fundraiser.
Gretchen Van De Carr/Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

The Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is introducing the first annual Happy Trails Challenge. The fundraiser will replace the Moonshine Ski and Dine event, which RMYC held for 13 years through 2019. Happy Trails encourages registrants to log miles on the trails, whether it’s running, hiking, biking or a combination. Those who log the most miles win prizes.

“We just thought it was simple, and aren’t we all happy when we’re out on a trail?” Chief Executive Officer Gretchen Van De Carr said.

The Happy Trails Challenge more accurately reflects and represents what the RMYC stands for and works on. Additionally, it has the ability to reach more people than an in-person event.



“Our alumni core members live all over the country now and even all over the world,” Van De Carr said. “In order to engage them in our fundraising event, this is a virtual challenge so folks can participate from anywhere in the country and anywhere in the world. That way, we can reach out to people in other parts of the country as well as our service area, which is the 10 counties in Northwest Colorado.”

Since the event can reach more people, Van De Carr is hoping it’ll raise more money for multiple RMYC programs. In the past, the Moonshine Ski and Dine raised about $20,000 in funding the local youth crews and science school. Ideally, this year’s fundraiser could bring in $50,000 and fund the youth corps and the science school, as well as the conservation corps and natural resource internship.

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Registration for the challenge is $45 and includes a Happy Trails T-shirt. The challenge runs from Sept. 8 to 20. In addition to the top three performers in each category earning prizes, there will also be random drawings for registrants to win prizes. Winners will be announced Sept. 21 in a Facebook livestream on the RMYC page.

A Rocky Mountain Youth Corps youth crew member gives a thumbs up while building a trail on Buffalo Pass.
Gretchen Van De Carr/Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

The Happy Trails Challenge will encourage engagement and remind people of the work RMYC does in the Yampa Valley, but the online silent auction will likely be a source of more funds. The auction is already live and runs through Sept. 21. Items include local gift cards as well as a Gabriel Landeskog autographed puck.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps provides youth people with the chance to participate in outdoor based service, particularly through trail work and other local projects.

“Last summer, we served over 600 young people even amidst the pandemic without any real complications, and this year, we grew 30% from last year in our conservation and youth corps and internship program,” Van De Carr said. “We have been able to rise to the challenge of putting young people to work, giving them paid employment, as well as working on the infrastructure that is needed. Trails and recreation areas, they’re being heavily used since the pandemic. It’s a win-win.”


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