$50,000 Endowment Grant Awarded to Methow Valley Sport Trails Association
The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA) has been awarded the $50,000 Endowment Grant from the Community Foundation of NCW. “We really wanted this grant to take an organization to the next level,” said Beth Stipe, the foundation’s executive director, “it was a unanimous decision.”
Of the 31 applicants, 5 finalists were selected for final interviews that were conducted in early September. The finalists were: Methow Conservancy, Methow Valley Sport Trails Association, Okanogan Transportation and Nutrition, Upper Valley Connection, and The Women’s Resource Center. “They are all outstanding organizations,” said Stipe, “it was a really hard decision for our board to make.” The award winner was announced at the 3rd annual Board Celebration Dinner at Sun Mountain in Winthrop and presented to the board president, Midge Cross. “We think we are a pretty cool organization,” said an enthusiastic Cross, “and you guys haven’t seen anything yet!” The Endowment Grant provides the MVSTA a permanent fund at the Community Foundation of NCW that will give them permanent, annual income. As the fund grows through gifts and investments, so will their income, giving the MVSTA greater sustainability and potential for impacting their community long term.
The MVSTA provides 120 miles of recreation trails across the Methow Valley. “These trails are the life blood of the local economy, which contributed an estimated $13.5 million in the 2011/2012 season” stated their grant application. MVSTA saw the most trail use ever during the last season, with 45,000 skier days and anticipates over 45,000 users this summer. Their trail model is recognized nationally for sustaining a vibrant economy and promoting healthy living. They just secured new office space close to one of the main trailheads that will now give them more exposure and better opportunity to meet and interact with trail users.
The criteria evaluated for the endowment grant included: the organization makes a significant impact in the community served; the organization has an endowment grant as part of their strategic plan; fiscal board participation and commitment from their board; and receiving the grant would move the organization to the next level.
“We are truly honored to have been chosen for such a substantial award” said James DeSalvo, MVSTA’s Executive Director. “The significance of an endowment to our organization and our community is truly inspiring. While I was excited to tell our board and our staff about this award I was most excited to tell my kids since they are the true beneficiaries” Said DeSalvo.
The Community Foundation of NCW plans to offer an endowment grant every other year and any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is eligible to apply.