The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club was named Wednesday as the first recipient of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation's Sterling Anniversary Awards.
The Winter Sports Club was chosen for the $5,000 award because it epitomizes the community foundation's mission of preserving tradition and maintaining the character of the Yampa Valley, YVCF board president Paula Cooper Black said at an awards luncheon held at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.
The club, which has been in place for nearly a century, is one of the oldest and most recognized ski clubs in the nation and has a proud legacy of encouraging children to be champions, Cooper Black said. In the training it provides to about 700 young athletes each winter, the club preserves the valley's strong skiing tradition and helps maintain Steamboat Springs' character as "Ski Town U.S.A."
"We're certainly happy and proud to be recognized for this type of award," said Winter Sports Club Executive Director Rick DeVos. "It's really about, for us, the staff and their attitude about what their job is. This is the kid business -- we're about winter sports, yes, and highly competitive sports, yes -- but it's about the opportunity to work as mentors for these kids" and help them and their families.
The Winter Sports Club was the recipient of the Sterling Award in the field of recreation, an award co-sponsored by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
The recreation award was the first of five celebrating the YVCF's 25th anniversary. Subsequent $5,000 awards will be given in the fields of education, health and human services, arts and culture, and environment.
Along with recognizing the Winter Sports Club, Wednesday's luncheon also celebrated Colorado Nonprofit Week, recognizing the state's more than 16,000 nonprofits.
"The nonprofit sector plays an important role in providing essential services that make our communities a more desirable place to live," YVCF Executive Director Dianna Sutton said. "Our sector represents a key element of the economic basis in our rural communities."
In Routt and Moffat counties, 52 nonprofit organizations reported expenditures of $59 million and assets of more than $112 million in 2001, Sutton said. In 2002, area United Way branches and the YVCF distributed grants exceeding $900,000.
"The role of the nonprofit sector is paramount to our community's vision, quality of life and helping create a sustainable economy," Sutton said. "Communities rely on the nonprofit sector to maintain a sense of community, to sustain a feeling of caring for each other, the community and the environment. The programs and services that (nonprofits) provide have contributed to the success of the YVCF."