TELLURIDE, Colo. (December 20, 2020) – Twenty years ago, this month, the first founding gift of $100,000 was donated, kicking off the beginning of the Telluride Foundation and resulting in $65 million being raised and given back to the community over the past 20 years. In December 2000, Ron Allred, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Stephen Wald, and Paul Major sat down with an unsuspecting prospective donor to make the pitch to launch the Telluride Foundation. The pitch resulted in the first of a series of founding gifts of $100,000 to create an organization to support and celebrate the people of Telluride and the region. Telluride Ski & Golf Resort (TSG) partners Ron Allred and Jim Wells had already provided seed gifts; however, this was the first donor to make such a significant commitment to a new era.
When TSG Resort founder and owner Ron Allred sold his interest in the Resort to Joe Morita in 2000, Allred and Morita had a vision to create an organization to support the Telluride region. Unlike many resorts, Telluride was already an established community, rich with history. Later in December 2000, ten more donors committed with significant multiple year gifts to creating and sustaining an organization, which would support regional nonprofits, provide them technical assistance, and address new and emerging community needs.
2020 is the Telluride Foundation’s 20th anniversary, and the year will be an opportunity to honor the Foundation’s accomplishments and reflect on Telluride’s rich history, and at the same time, consider the challenges of the future. With that context in mind – past, present and future – the Foundation’s 20th anniversary year will be a year-long calendar of events, activities, and new initiatives with the nonprofits, donors, and community members who have all partnered together to achieve a significant positive impact on the community.
The Foundation’s 20th anniversary events and programs are designed to thank donors, celebrate community members and nonprofits, unveil new projects, and launch new initiatives. They include:
- March 13 the (1st Annual) SkiDola (same route as the RunDola)
- Recognition event to celebrate the world class modern ski resort
- May 1 – 20th Year Anniversary Report released
- Regional community supported events, including expanded support of the Telluride KOTO Street Dance, Mountain Village, Ridgway and Ouray Summer Concert Series, Nucla, Naturita, Norwood, and Rico planned community events
- TOGETHER Public Art Project in partnership with the Ah Haa School
- New Workforce Housing Initiative Announced
- July 4th RunDola
- July 4th 20th Anniversary Celebration Float
- Neil Armstrong Bench Dedication
- September 10 Regional Nonprofit and Community Celebration at Placerville Park and School House
- 20th Anniversary Citizen of the Year Celebration
The Foundation will be partnering on one new project and launching a new initiative during its 20th anniversary. The TOGTHER public art project in partnership with the Ah Haa School, will be a first of its kind opportunity for community engagement through local programing around a provocative public art exhibit. The Foundation’s Workforce Housing Initiative will help tackle one of the most pressing issues, affecting quality of life, in all the communities it serves; this Initiative is designed to be a replicable model for addressing housing needs in rural towns. More details about the Foundation’s 20th anniversary can be found at www.tellluridefoundation.org/20.
The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, The Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit www.telluridefoundation.org.