VVF Spring 2024 Impact Newsletter

Page 1


Exploring the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater’s outstanding 2024 calendar of events and performances » page 2


At the 2024 GoPro Mountain Games » page 4

WE HAD A BALL! A record-breaking fundraiser puts the VVF on strong footing for the coming year » page 11

ONE OF A KIND Celebrating Citizen of the Year Alexia Jurschak » page 10

Photo by Jason Myers.



The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is a 3-season venue

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater has been called ‘special,’ ‘superlative,’ and ‘sensational.’

All three of those adjectives help describe what makes this amazing Vail Valley Foundation venue a jewel of the Rockies.

However, it has also been called a ‘summertime’ venue … and this moniker is simply off the mark. Why is that?

Because it is now officially a three-season venue, with annual performances that begin in April and carry through to October.

“This is one of the most spectacular venues in the world to enjoy the performing arts and part of that is because of its location on the banks of Gore Creek, walking distance from

Vail Village,” said Dave Dressman, Vice President of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for the Vail Valley Foundation.

“Spring and autumn are just as beautiful in the Rockies as any other time of year,” Dressman said. “With the increasingly high demand for quality performing arts in our community, we are extremely pleased to be offering headliner events and entertainment at the venue from April through October.”

For everything there is a season

Opened in 1987, the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater first made its name by hosting the Hot Summer Nights free concert series, the Vail Dance Festival (a Vail Valley Foundation event) and Bravo! Vail Music Festival, which is a separate 501(c)(3) organization but which has partnered closely with us.

Although summertime offerings formed the venue’s first forays into the arts, the calendar has steadily expanded since its opening season.

On its 30th anniversary in 2017, we hosted a weekend of headliner music in late August. The response was extremely positive, as was the reaction to the VVF’s relationship with AEG Presents, which has helped us fill the calendar with highoctane performances that not only entertain locals, but also qualify as “destination-worthy” performances on their own.

by Jeremy Gross.


“We see people come from all over the West, not only drive markets, but flying in from places around the country to see one of their favorite artists in a venue that has a growing reputation as one of the best in the West,” said Peter Blosten, Senior Director of Operations for the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

“The Amp has been known regionally for decades as a phenomenal venue, but now that reputation is expanding as nationally-touring acts, people in the industry, and spectators spread the word of just what a unique, highquality, and intimate environment the venue provides,” Blosten said.

The Vail Dance Festival (July 26Aug. 5), Hot Summer Nights (JuneAugust), and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival are still mainstays of our schedule.

This year the season kicked off with the second installment of “Après at The Amp” and carries through a season of high school graduations, community events, and big-name concerts until the Bravo! Vail season begins in June.

Expanding the offerings at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater also means expanding the backstage operations, personnel, and even the venue itself. We are grateful for your support as we envision an awe-inspiring future for our venue and our community. To learn more about how you can support our exciting venue upgrades, contact Sierra Adams at sadams@vvf.org.


The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater now features a spring-to-fall calendar. For a complete up-to-date calendar of events visit grfavail.com/events.


Steve Martin & Martin Short and Black Pumas


Dark Star Orchestra


Patriotic Concert in partnership with Bravo! Vail


The Beach Boys; Robert Plant & Alison Krauss; O.A.R.; Barenaked Ladies; Walker Hayes; Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, and Yonder Mountain String Band; Slightly Stoopid; Jim Gaffigan; and Crowded House.


Moe’s Original BBQ Hot Summer Nights free concert series

JUNE 6–8

Mountains of Music at the GoPro Mountain Games


Umphrey’s McGee


Portugal. The Man, Brothers Osborne, Ziggy Marley with special guest Lettuce and Norah Jones


Vail Dance Festival



The Vail Valley Foundation is like a swimming pool—there are a hundred ways to dive right in. And the best way to make a splash? Jump into the GoPro Mountain Games.

You don’t have to be a pro (although you’re likely to meet a few!). As a matter of fact, most of the 4,000+ athletes who take part in the GoPro Mountain Games are everyday people.

For many, the event is a great starting point to try a first event or race.

From yoga to concerts, stand-up-paddleboarding to trail running, cycling, disc golf, or even just free spectating, the GoPro Mountain Games are a great way to experience the joy of the VVF’s athletics mission. Visit mountaingames.com to learn more.

Learn more about how you can support the VVF’s athletic events by emailing connect@vvf.org.

Photos by Davis, John Ryan Lockman, and Chris Kendig.

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The VPAC is enjoying an historic run of success as it prepares for its busiest summer season ever

Thanks to your generous support throughout the 25th Anniversary campaign and into this season, the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) is infused with energy and is moving forward with approximately 25 confirmed summer-season shows, about 10 more than the venue has ever hosted before in summertime.

The venue’s recent capital projects, including the acoustic banners and new HVAC system, have greatly improved the audio quality (and air quality!) of the venue, and audiences have taken notice.

Under the leadership of Cameron Morgan, the new Executive Director as of September 2023, we are building a new strategic plan as we prepare for a bright future.

One of the priorities, Morgan said, is increasing and enhancing our community engagement to continue to grow the VPAC’s role as a cultural hub for our Valley and the Rockies.

Fresh off a record-breaking winter season, where 17,500+ ticket buyers and 6,000+ Eagle County Schools students enjoyed over 60 world-class performances, the VPAC is gearing up for summer.


You can view the full VPAC summer lineup at vilarpac.org/events, and here are a few highlights that you won’t want to miss:

JUNE 30 & JULY 1 | 7PM

Brit Floyd –

The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Experience


Ben Folds: Paper Airplane Request Tour


Clint Black 35th Anniversary of Killin’ Time


Bernadette Peters with members of the Colorado Symphony

There are many ways to support the VPAC including an annual membership, underwriting, or a major gift for capital improvements. Contact Miah Wheeler at mwheeler@vvf.org to learn more.

Photos by John Ryan Lockman.



Your support of the Vail Dance Festival creates numerous reasons to love the 2024 Festival lineup

Thirteen performances, 11 days, 5 dance companies, 150 world-class artists, and eight world premieres

It all adds up to an amazing Vail Dance Festival thanks to YOUR generous support.

New works/world premieres play a central role in the Vail Dance Festival, and 2024 will be no exception, including choreography from Kyle Abraham, Michelle Dorrance, Larry Keigwin, Lauren Lovette, Justina Peck, Tiler Peck, Jamar Roberts, and Pam Tanowitz.

This upcoming season also comes with a special treat, two Artists-in-Residence: Sara Mearns, principal dancer of New York City Ballet, and superstar choreographer Jamar Roberts.

Learn more about the wide array of activities, events, performances, and offerings of the Vail Dance Festival at vaildance.org. Tickets are on sale now!

Support the Festival!

There’s still time to support this summer’s Festival by making an annual donation or by taking advantage of our special underwriting opportunities. Learn more by contacting Martha Brassel at mbrassel@vvf.org.


Photo Christopher Duggan.


The Vail Valley Foundation has long embraced our important role to unify individuals, businesses, and governments around key issues that impact our community and accomplish things that one person or entity could not do on their own. In 2023, we officially codified this for our organization by recognizing “Community Supports” as a key aspect of our mission. Our organization’s work in this arena is currently under way in the childcare space. The need for affordable, quality, childcare is at a crisis level in our community. The VVF’s Eagle River Valley Childcare Initiative is moving forward, beginning with our project in a central location in Avon. The project, which is being pursued in partnership with the Town of Avon and other local business leaders, will create approximately165 new childcare openings for children ages 0-5 with a focus on the much-needed infant and toddler care. We look forward to continuing our work with partners to help address the accessible and affordable childcare concerns across our community.

If you would like to learn more about how you can support this muchneeded initiative, contact Sierra Adams at sadams@vvf.org.


With just a few words, you can make a huge difference

It’s true! Your support of the Vail Valley Foundation can last far beyond your lifetime. Here are two popular ways to make your dedication continue for generations:

1. Include us in your will or living trust. How do I set it up? Add as little as one sentence (often referred to as “bequest language”) saying you want to support us. With the help of your estate-planning attorney or your will-planning website, you can give a meaningful gift.

2. Name the Vail Valley Foundation as a beneficiary of a retirement account, life insurance policy, or commercial annuity. How do I set it up? Contact your retirement plan administrator for a changeof-beneficiary form. On the form, list the percentage you would like us to receive.


Contact Sierra Adams at sadams@vvf.org to discuss your options.



This spring, all of us at the Vail Valley Foundation were saddened by the loss of several cherished individuals who played distinct roles and had a profound impact on our organization and our community. While we remember them and celebrate their remarkable lives and achievements, our hearts and thoughts also extend to their friends, families, and loved ones.

Rod Slifer

Rod Slifer was a beloved founder of our organization, and one of our most cherished members and supporters. Rod’s contributions to our organization and our VVF community are immeasurable. He arrived in Vail in 1962 and soon became a major contributor to virtually all areas of life in our community through a wide array of causes and initiatives. In particular, Rod provided significant support, leadership, and vision to the Vail Valley Foundation. We are grateful to have known him. Read more about Rod at vvf.org/blog.

Steve Zuckerman

All of us at the Vail Valley Foundation were saddened by the loss of Steve "Z-man" Zuckerman, who was a good friend, a wonderful man, and who played an essential role in our annual Birds of Prey ski races as Event Medical Director. We worked closely with Steve for years, and many of our staff counted him as a dear friend. Not only was he an integral part of our races, he was also a Beaver Creek Ski Patroller, an Eagle County Paramedic, and a wilderness search and rescue professional with the Vail Mountain Rescue Group.

Marka Moser

For decades Marka Moser was a mainstay at the Vail Dance Festival. All who knew her were aware that if they wanted to catch up and see her, all they needed to do was attend a Vail Dance Festival performance and she would be there.

Marka’s contributions to the Festival started from the very beginning, in 1989, with her work as a local photographer and reporter for the Vail Trail newspaper.

Stewart Turley

Stewart Turley was a valued member of the Board of Directors of the Vail Valley Foundation from 20012018, and served as a Life Trustee member until his passing in March of 2024. Stew also served on the boards of the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Eckerd Youth Alternatives, Inc. and the US Ski Team Foundation.



Here’s a closer look at the Colorado Childcare Tax Credit

There are many reasons to give to the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365. It may be that we offer a continuum of programming from early childhood, K-12, and into college and career readiness. It may be the amazing care that our wonderful educators put into their work, or it may be the amazing results and quality of our programming.

But there is another wonderful reason to support YouthPower365: the Colorado Childcare Tax Credit, known as “CCTC” for short.

Colorado leads the nation in providing a taxadvantaged tool for childcare through the Child Care Contribution Tax Credit (CCTC).

This unique public/private partnership allows individuals and businesses to claim a 50% state income tax credit for qualified contributions to childcare providers (up to $100,000). YouthPower365 donations qualify for this income tax credit.

The CCTC is one more great reason to support our programming, and helps keep YouthPower365 affordable and accessible to all. In fact, less than 2% of our revenue comes from fees. This means 98% of our revenue to serve youth comes from generous donors like you!

“Your contribution to YouthPower365 creates essential supports for youth and families who need it the most,” said Sara Amberg, Executive Director of YouthPower365.

“Through a holistic approach, we address all the areas that lead to student success, not in a day or a year, but throughout their entire journey from early childhood to college and career. We include caregivers and the community as critical partners in this effort, extending our impact across our entire Valley. Thank you for being a part of this life changing work.” Learn more about CCTC by contacting Sierra Adams at sadams@vvf.org

Photo by Chris Kendig.



If you’re looking for someone who knows how to get things done, look no further than Alexia Jurschak.

“I like to think, ‘Yes it can be done, yes there is a way,’” Jurschak said. “It’s like the Nike tagline, ‘just do it’. I’ve always liked that phrase and no matter how complicated or difficult something may seem, if it needs to get done, let’s do it. We can figure it out, we can make it work.”

Jurschak, who lives in Beaver Creek with her husband, Jerry, has brought this approach to many areas of her life, not least of which has been in her contributions as a leader and contributor to many of the Vail Valley’s nonprofit organizations. She is the Chair of the Vail Valley Foundation’s Vilar Performing Arts Center committee, and has made significant contributions of time, leadership, and vision to the Vail Valley Foundation’s work in community, in alleviating the effects of COVID-19, and to the organization’s Vail Dance Festival, and more.

Jurschak has also been a significant leader in the work of the Vail Veterans Program. Her first foray into volunteerism in the Valley was in 2006

when a friend, John Galvin, encouraged her to join the Board of the Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund, where she has been a valuable leader in that organization for nearly 20 years, and currently serves as Vice Chair of their Board of Directors. She has also contributed significantly to the mission of Vail Health, Bravo! Vail, Walking Mountains, Bright Future Foundation, and other organizations.

For her many contributions to this community, the Vail Valley Foundation is proud to recognize Alexia Jurschak as the 2024 Vail Valley Citizen of the Year.

The Vail Valley Citizen of the Year Awards is one of the highest honors in the community, awarded since 1981 to a deserving citizen who has provided broad support, vision, and leadership to the betterment of the Valley. Although the Vail Valley Foundation manages this prestigious award, the award is not exclusively awarded to an individual or individuals involved with the Vail Valley Foundation. Recipients of this award must show many years of dedication, volunteerism and contributions to

“...No matter how complicated or difficult something may seem, if it needs to get done, let’s do it. We can figure it out, we can make it work.”
Alexia Jurschak

multiple nonprofits spanning a myriad causes, and their efforts and impact must stand the test of time.

“Alexia has an eye for what needs to be done, and a way of working with others to create enthusiasm and optimism about what’s possible,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation.

“Alexia is fearless and approaches everything with a can-do attitude and sees obstacles or barriers as opportunities. Her contributions to our organization, and to other organizations in this Valley and beyond, are immeasurable. She is extremely deserving of this prestigious award.”

In her role as Chair of the Vilar Performing Arts Center, Jurschak led

10 VAIL VALLEY FOUNDATION | VVF.ORG Photo by Chris Kendig.

the organization through a successful 25th Anniversary Celebration.

“Alexia is not only a brilliant mind and a wonderful leader, she is also a dear friend,” said Ann Smead, former Chair of the Vail Valley Foundation Board of Directors. “Her love of the performing arts, and this community, shines through in everything she does.”

“I have worked with Alexia in many capacities over the years, whether it was related to the VPAC, Beaver Creek Resort, the VVF, or other community efforts,” said Beth Howard, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Vail Mountain. “Her leadership and ability to bring people together and collaborate, are gifts that make Alexia so very special. We are so grateful to have her in our community.”

“I have worked with Alexia in many capacities over the years, whether it was related to the VPAC, Beaver Creek Resort, the VVF, or other community efforts,” said Beth Howard, Vice


President and Chief Operating Officer of Vail Mountain. “Her leadership and ability to bring people together and collaborate, are gifts that make Alexia so very special. We are so grateful to have her in our community.”

When COVID-19 came to the Valley, Jurschak recognized immediately that local individuals and families were going to need help. She brought her “just do it” mentality to the table at the VVF and the Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund (EVFAF), helping the VVF raise more than $1.5 million, much of which was distributed to families in need via the EVFAF.

Together with her husband Jerry, Alexia has also been significant supporters of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival. She has also provided support to Walking Mountains, the Roundup River Ranch capital campaign, and serves her community on the Beaver Creek Homeowner’s Association Board. Congratulations Alexia!

Thanks to everyone who attended our Black Diamond Ball! Together, we raised a record amount of funds for arts, athletics, education, and community supports. We can’t wait to push forward with our vision to build the most extraordinary mountain community with quality of life for all!

11 SPRING 2024 | VVF.ORG
Photos courtesy the Jurschak family.

Enclosed is your copy of IMPACT—the newsletter for supporters of the Vail Valley Foundation.


Please reach out to a member of the VVF philanthropy team if you have questions or would like to learn more about the various ways you can support the VVF.

Sierra Adams Vice President, Philanthropy sadams@vvf.org

Miah Wheeler Director, Philanthropy mwheeler@vvf.org

Kendra Powell Associate Director, Donor Engagement kpowell@vvf.org

Martha Brassel Senior Director, Philanthropy mbrassel@vvf.org

Stephen Licciardi Director, Philanthropy slicciardi@vvf.org

Bailey Nelson Admin & Campaign Manager bnelson@vvf.org

Euginnia Seyferth Director, Philanthropy eseyferth@vvf.org

Lee Steele Associate Director, Annual Support lsteele@vvf.org

Vail Valley Foundation P.O. Box 6550, Avon, CO 81620 90 Benchmark Road, Suite 300, Avon, CO 81620 Phone 970.777.2015 Email info@vvf.org vvf.org Join us on:

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