Submitted by Erica Linnell, Teton Valley Foundation Executive Director
This piece was originally published in the April 21, 2016 issue of the Teton Valley News as part of the weekly Nonprofit Spotlight presented by the Community Foundation of Teton Valley.
The Teton Valley Foundation works to make the good life even better in Teton Valley through cultural and recreational programs that connect the community and boost the economy, such as Music on Main, The Great Snowfest, and the Kotler Ice Arena.
Lucky for us, the Community Foundation of Teton Valley helps us achieve that mission each time they award us a grant.
Did you know that during the 2015 winter season, the Teton Valley Foundation served 1,200 users a week at the ice rink? It’s one of the few entities in the valley that is enjoyed by such a diverse cross section of our community.
School kids experience ice for the first time and acquire a lifelong winter skill. Teenagers get to hang out—without mom and dad—in a safe, fun environment at “Friday Night Ice”. Youth hockey players learn teamwork and the value of getting up again in life when they get knocked down (literally!). Adults make new friendships with fellow residents in our adult hockey leagues.
The Kotler Ice Arena is about more than skating. It’s about community.
Gratefully, the Community Foundation understands that perfectly because in 2015, they gave us $1000 to purchase additional skates in order to meet rapidly growing demand at the ice rink.
The Teton Valley Foundation subsidizes skating for 300 Winter Sports students a week, striving to provide free skates for any child who needs them. Driggs elementary alone brings 90 kids to the ice rink at once! And on the weekends, hundreds of family members get to spend time together while they enjoy recreating in winter. Over 20% of participants in these two skating programs are from low income or underserved portions of our community.
Until the Community Foundation awarded us funding, we were constantly running out of skates for those two programs. No skates = unhappy kids. (And unhappy kids = unhappy parents!)
While the Teton Valley Foundation is currently focused on our much larger funding goal of purchasing a cooling system for the 2016/17 ice rink season, without skates we would be limited in terms of the number of people who can actually take advantage of this incredible facility. Part of the Community Foundation of Teton Valley’s mission is to improve lives through the power of generosity. A small, simple, generous grant from the Foundation made a HUGE difference for Teton Valley Families and helped the Teton Valley Foundation make the good life even better.
If you are affiliated with a Teton Valley nonprofit, we want to hear from you! Help us share why Teton Valley nonprofits matter. Each week, the Community Foundation will highlight a local nonprofit in the pages of the Teton Valley News. Email Dawn Banks, Marketing and Programs Director, at [email protected] or call 208.354.0230. We look forward to helping share your story and join the conversation on social media using #WhyItMatters!