Strings receives grant for Pavilion

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— The corner of Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads is missing something: the trademark Strings in the Mountains white tent that was dismantled this week.

However, the missing tent signals that change is on the horizon.

"It's the beginning of a new era," said Betsey Jay, executive director of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and Strings in the Mountains collectively raised more than $200,000 in challenge grant money to help fund the new Strings Pavilion, which is slated to break ground Monday.

The grant was made possible by a $100,000 challenge grant from Ski Corp.'s Charitable Fund. The grant matched all gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 to support the upcoming construction of a permanent Strings Pavilion.

Throughout the course of six weeks, more than 100 people made donations ranging from $10 to $20,000, Jay said. A total of $106,985 was collected.

"The exciting part is to see such a wide range of support," she said. "It says a lot about the broad level of support from the community. The philanthropic impulse is in everyone."

Kay Clagett, president and CEO of Strings, said meeting the challenge was a joint effort.

"We're overwhelmed with this generous support from our community and Ski Corp.," she said. "The Community Foundation provided administrative and marketing assistance and a lot of encouragement during our busy music season. Together, we met the challenge."

The grant was announced during an Eddie Daniels concert last week, Jay said.

"It was a full house - a very entertaining evening," she said.

Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer for Ski Corp., said he was glad to continue to support Strings' endeavors.

"Strings in the Mountains provides a great amenity for the Steamboat community, and the resort has been a proud partner for the last decade," he said.

Reaching out to the community was huge part of the project, he said.

"This challenge grant was an innovative way to use the resort's Charitable Fund to facilitate the building project while getting the entire community involved."

Building the new Strings Pavilion comes at the end of Strings' 20th anniversary. The project will cost about $4 million, of which $3 million is coming from donations and pledges. The Pavilion, which is being built in the 7-acre Strings Festival Park, will provide a larger stage for performances and enhanced acoustics.

-To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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