On December 18, 2019

Vermont Community Foundation receives $245K from Vail CEO

Last week, Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, announced significant contributions totaling more than $2.8 million to further strengthen emotional wellness programs in more than ten mountain communities where Vail Resorts operates. The Vermont Community Foundation received just over $245,000. Vail owns Okemo, Mount Snow and Stowe Mountain resorts in Vermont.

The second annual distribution of behavioral health grants issued by the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust (KACT) benefits over 40 non-profit organizations to reduce the stigma of mental illness, improve access to mental and behavioral health services and support collaboration within and among mountain communities.

Over this past year, the Katz Amsterdam Foundation has focused on connecting mountain communities on the topic of mental and behavioral health.

In May, the Foundation hosted a convening of 60 mental health professionals from these communities, facilitating a conversation about similar challenges each community faces such as substance abuse, feelings of isolation, availability of providers and mental health outcomes. Following the meeting, community stakeholders agreed to align on to a set of shared measures to support collective learning – focusing on progress in the following areas: social dynamics; mental health attitudes and knowledge; provider capacity; and affordability and accessibility of care.

“It has been inspiring to see the shared desire that exists across each of our mountain communities to make a difference, to help others and to ignite a passion for creating truly healthy communities,” said Katz. “We are thrilled to be able to help unite so many incredible organizations and support their collective efforts to improve access to much-needed health services and reduce the stigma and misunderstanding around these issues.”

The grants, announced Dec. 10, further enable collaboration and innovation across mountain communities in British Columbia, Washington, California, Utah, Colorado, Vermont and New Hampshire.

“The Vermont Community Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust again this year. The Trust’s previous grantees are making a notable impact in their communities—and in the lives of so many of our friends, families, and neighbors,” said Vermont Community Foundation president and CEO, Dan Smith. “This partnership ensures that Rob and Elana’s leadership and generosity continue to support mental and behavioral health organizations that are promoting community well-being in mountain towns across Vermont and among our neighbors in New Hampshire.”

The KACT grants are in addition to the annual EpicPromise grants from Vail Resorts, which support more than 350 non-profits across the company’s mountain communities. EpicPromise grants for 2019/20 are being announced by Vail Resorts in December 2019 and January 2020.

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