Vail donates $20,577 to dog cause
When Vail Resorts notified Cathy King that her local, nonprofit organization Canines with a Cause had been chosen to be a part of the holiday fundraising charity "Epic Promise," she was ecstatic.
"It was super exciting and I was totally thrilled," said King, the organization’s executive director.
She had a similar emotionally charged reaction when she found out how much the fundraising campaign had raised for the organization between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
"I cried. I absolutely cried," King said. "I didn’t know what to expect since it was something so new for us. And I was touched that so many people reached out and helped us."
Through Vail Resorts’ annual "Epic Promise" fundraiser, the holiday giving campaign at both Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort retail stores raised $20,577 for Canines with a Cause.
The organization partners rescued shelter dogs with female prison inmates to prepare them to eventually live with veterans. A check presentation ceremony was held Thursday morning at Canyon Mountain Sports.
"Thank you for your support. It was so overwhelming," King said during the presentation. "What is the most touching for me is the fact that these were employees who took the time to talk about it. They didn’t have to do that."
Every year Vail retail stores around the country participate in the "Epic Promise," in an effort to showcase the charitable side of the company and provide funds for 20 nonprofit organizations, said Canyons Communications Specialist Caitlin Martz.
"Epic Promise" matches donors 50 cents on the dollar, up to $100, for an organization of the retail store members’ choice.
"This year the amount that was raised exceeded last year by far," Martz said. "It’s amazing. These people who benefit from it are our neighbors and our community members.
"Cathy works tirelessly to work with veterans," she added. "And the manpower they put in to train dogs to better our community. It’s just really nice to be a part of a company that supports that endeavor."
Ted Eberle, Vail Resorts retail area manager, said guests who donated to the charity often shared stories of how the organization had personally impacted them.
"Our staff made supporting Canines with a Cause effortless," Eberle said. "They were engaged and passionate about raising money for our Epic Promise holiday giving campaign and the guests shared in the enthusiasm."
The funds raised through the campaign will go toward training, food, supplies, and spaying and neutering dogs in the program.
The monthly average operating costs for Canines with a Cause is approximately $10,000, King said.
"We are a little nonprofit and we stretch things a long way," she said. "We operate on a pretty short string and this is two months of complete operations for us."
In addition to funding operating costs, a portion of the $20,577 will also help launch an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program in Wasatch County.
"So it’s really nice that the money will stay here and help us start that program," King said.
Shaun Woodard, director of training for Canines with a Cause, said the organization depends on local support.
"This benefits the dogs in the prison and in our program," Woodard said. "We are thrilled about the partnership and are looking forward to growing it further."
There is a movement to help find alternative therapies for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and brain injury victims, Woodard said. But therapy dogs tend to be cost prohibitive for most people.
"Our cause is really about using these guys (dogs) in tons of ways to serve and help people," he said. "No matter what their goals may end up being, watching them meet with the dog and connecting with them in some way is tremendously gratifying.
"The end result is to help those people reengage with their communities and with their families," Woodard said.
For more information about Canines with a Cause, go to http://www.canineswithacause.org or visit the organizations Facebook page. For more information on Vail Resort’s "Epic Promise," visit http://www.epicpromise.com.
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Summit County officials declared their potential conflicts of interest, with Councilors Doug Clyde and Chris Robinson offering the most extensive lists on the County Council.