Article Written By: Justin Scacco
As the need for certain goods and services continues to rise due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many organizations and individuals are donating time and money to help out those in their communities.
Earlier this week, it was announced the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation would receive a $100,000 donation from Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam as part of more than $2.5 million being provided by the couple for Vail Resorts employees and the communities that Vail operates in.
“I cannot recall another moment in my lifetime that has caused so much disruption to our lives – to our work, to our health and to our communities,” said Katz in a news release. “Throughout this incredibly challenging time, two of our absolute priorities have been, and will continue to be, the health and wellbeing of our employees and mountain communities. What makes our resorts so special is where they’re located and the passionate people who live there. As we navigate this situation, it’s essential we continue to support our employees and the vitality of our communities, providing partnership when it’s needed most.”
Katz is donating $1.5 million in immediate emergency relief grants that will benefit more than a dozen organizations providing critical services, including locally at the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.
“The Katz Amsterdam Foundation has been a generous contributor to our community,” said Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation. “Much of their philanthropy has focused on improving local mental health services. We really appreciate their decision to donate flexible dollars that can help us respond to the needs that are arising during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Katz and his wife donated $160,500 to the foundation in December to build community data collection process, complete community-wide mental health strategic plan and a sub-grant to support behavioral health services at Sierra Community House.
FUND FOCUSED ON NONPROFITS
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation has set up a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide resources to nonprofit organizations working within the community. The donation made by Katz and his wife increases the money in the fund from $125,000 to $225,000.
“Philanthropy is very personal,” said Caldwell. “Different people connect with different missions. Some donors go directly to the nonprofits they love, others want to see a systematic approach to addressing the community’s needs. That is why the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is so crucial at this time. We can leverage donations big and small in a strategic way, across the region. Regardless of a donor’s preference, our motto is ‘just give!’”
Money from the fund will be focused on nonprofits, whose services may become crucial to locals during this time.
“We have a small number of nonprofits that make up the social safety net for individuals and families in our community. At this time, they are having to transform their operations and scale the direct services they provide to meet an exponentially growing need,” added Caldwell. “The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will identify opportunities to grow that infrastructure, which will serve local nonprofits beyond this crisis. Our first round of grants from the fund will focus on stabilizing and scaling local organizations. As we address the most immediate community needs, we will look to our other nonprofits that are not direct service providers to determine how to best help them.
“Our nonprofit community is made up of missions that focus on the environment, arts, education, and so much more. TTCF has invested in many of these organizations for the last two decades. They truly are the backbone of this community. That is why we established this fund.”
EpicPromise, South Tahoe donation
An additional $1 million is being donated by Katz to create a new fund within Vail Resorts’ EpicPromise Employee Foundation, which helps the company’s employees respond to unpredictable setbacks, including medical events. This fund will help meet the increased need for assistance due to the impacts of COVID-19, ensuring that the foundation has the resources to address this challenge.
The donation will be distributed through the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust, which was established to support mountain communities, with an initial focus on eliminating the stigma of mental illness and increasing access to mental and behavioral healthcare. Since 2016, the Trust has donated more than $10 million total, including nearly $6.5 million in mental and behavioral health grants, to communities where Vail Resorts operates.
Recipients of the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants also included the El Dorado Community Foundation. The South Tahoe foundation will receive a $150,000 donation for its Coronavirus Relief Fund, which will go to families in need and nonprofits that provide critical basic need and other social services to the community.
For a complete list of the recipients of Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants, visit VailResorts.com.
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