Just over two years ago, a plot of ground in Vail known as the “land between the tracks” was secured by the Vail School District (VSD) and its future was imagined by district officials along with community leaders and stakeholders. The hope was that the property, including several existing buildings, would become a hub of activity which would benefit the community and the school district in tangible ways. A part of that vision will be realized at the October 23rd VSD governing board meeting in a celebratory gifting of $15,000 from Greater Vail Community ReSources (“ReSources”) a non-profit corporation to the recently formed Vail School District Foundation (VSDF), also a non-profit corporation.
ReSources, itself a young 501(c)(3), operates ReSources Vail Food Bank and Vail Depot Thrift Store on the property and, in addition to feeding Vail residents in need, it maintains close “Transition from School to Work” programmatic ties with the local school district. On behalf of its board of directors, ReSources president, Connie Plummer, stated “We are excited to be in this collaborative and unique relationship with the Vail School District Foundation and the Vail School District; it’s a relationship we know will enhance our shared community in many ways.” As part of its lease agreement, ReSources will convey $12,000 per year to the Vail School District Foundation—funds that can be used flexibly to benefit local schools and students directly.
On the receiving end of the initial $15,000 check, the Vail School District Foundation seeks to provide funding for academic experiences or programs that may have been lost due to lack of tax funding. Anne Gibson, VSDF president, remarked that “The Vail School District Foundation views the initial gift of $15,000 and the annual gifts of $12,000 for years to come as gifts from heaven. We are eternally thankful to the Vail School District and ReSources for allowing the foundation to be a part of the team serving the needs of our greater Vail area community.” As a non-profit corporation the mission of the VSDF is “to champion efforts to enrich teaching, inspire learning, and enhance opportunities for the staff and students of the VSD,” Gibson said. Noting that it is rare for a start-up foundation to receive financial support in this amount, she added, “The charge before the 12-member foundation board of directors now is to determine how, in a fiscally responsible manner, to best use these funds in service to the staff and students of the district. From the VSDF perspective, we are looking forward to working with the district and ReSources for many years.”
The VSDF was founded May 8th of this year and its board of directors include: Ed Buster, John Carruth, Stuart Douglass, Anne Gibson, Linda Feltheim, Pam Kelty, Linda Kubiak, Darcy Mentone, Teresa Lynn Smith, Mark Tate, MaRico Tippett, Stacy Winstryg and honorary board member Mary Ann Cleveland.
Superintendent of the Vail School District, Calvin Baker–an integral figure in bringing the two organizations together into a new cooperative relationship–is quick to point out that such things are made possible because of Vail’s great support for education. He stated “We’re very fortunate to be in a healthy school community, but the missing piece has been a good education foundation. I’m thrilled that the Vail School District Foundation has been established and that it is already making a great connection with ReSources.”
Written in collaboration by Anne Gibson and Susan Summers