Congratulations to our first ever EpicPromise Scholars!
We awarded 20 children of employees with our first ever EpicPromise Scholars grants. Grants are for $2500 per year and up to 4 years.
Read more about three awardees, Brooke, Erik, and Gerardo
Brooke McKenna - Brooke's mother is a Daycare Manager at Keystone
- Brooke is attending Colorado State University studying business, involving herself in the Women in Business Association and Kappa Alpha Theta.
- Recently, Brooke has been volunteering with Homeless Gear, providing essential items to those who are or are at risk of becoming homeless.
- Described by her teacher as demonstrating "patience, effective organizational skills, and strong leadership capabilities as a member of a team."
Erik Forbes - Erik's mother works as a spa supervisor at Beaver Creek.
- A dedicated student, excelling in a full load of honors classes while working as a camp counselor for Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District.
- Erik is described as “an inquisitive, curious, and tenacious student” along with “a student that is extremely eager to learn.”
- In his spare time, he is either working on his piano skills or competing on his high school’s Track & Field team.
Gerardo Lopez - Gerardo's father is a steward at Beaver Creek’s Beanos Cabin.
- Gerardo is an avid and dedicated athlete to the sport of running. He holds nine top 10 race times at Eagle Valley High School along with being the 11th fastest boy in Eagle Valley cross country history.
- When he is not running, Gerardo can be seen tutoring math to youth at Eagle Valley High School or spending time with his loving family.
- With Gerardo’s education, his number one goal is “to give back to his parents as they have been there to support him.”
2016-17 EpicPromise Foundation Impact
- 338 Emergency Relief Grants totaling $743,650
- 29 Educational Grants totaling to $70,483
See first-hand the impact that the EpicPromise Foundation has had on employees!
How the Foundation is making a difference...
Read more about the impact of the Foundation
Name: Bert Ewing-McDonald
Tenure with Vail Resorts: 3.5 years
I've been an employee at Heavenly for 3 years. In November, I was taking my dog on a walk in our neighborhood and we were attacked by a stray dog. The other dog ended up biting me multiple times in my hands and I ended up in the hospital for 3 days with a Blood Infection. While in the hospital, I missed multiple days of work. Not only did I miss out on making money to live, I was left with a pretty big hospital bill.
When I returned to work my assistant manager, Erin McEvoy reminded me of the EpicPromise Foundation. She assisted me in getting the application filled out and submitted. I can’t express how relieved and happy it made me feel to have her support and assistance in applying.
Receiving the EpicPromise Grant was a huge stress reliever. Knowing that I had some money to put towards the bills now, instead of just letting them pile up to pay later was amazing.Without the Grant, I would not have been able to pay any of the bills, and I would have had a huge cloud of hospital bills laying over me.
I am very grateful for the Epic Promise Grant. I am so pleased to be a part of a company that treats their employees like family. I have heard of other employees receiving grants in the past, but it never really sunk in how much these Grants help, until I was the one in a hard time and in need of some support.
The EpicPromise Foundation assisted me in a very hard and stressful time, and I am truly happy to be a part of the Vail Resorts Family. I think it is very important for us as employees to support the Foundation, because it is helping people that we can relate too, our fellow employees. It really hits home knowing that the program is assisting people just like me, and you just never know when you will be the one in need.
Name: Kayla Bacon
Resort: Heavenly- Retail
Tenure with Vail Resorts: 1 year
Halfway through last ski season, Heavenly retail employee Kayla Bacon’s 6-year-old son Oliver sustained a ski injury on the Big Easy Trail at Heavenly Mountain. Oliver’s accident resulted in a spiral fracture to his left tibia which needed to be casted two separate times, leaving him home and missing school for four weeks. As a single-mother of two, Kayla found herself in a difficult situation. That is when Kayla discovered the EpicPromise Foundation: “The next day [after Oliver’s accident], I read the EpicPromise email about the emergency relief program. It was a blessing in disguise.”
The EpicPromise Foundation Grant was able to lift some stress away from medical bills and loss of income while Kayla was able to stay home with Oliver and even homeschool him during his absence.
Kayla’s manager, Adam Carlson was in full support of Kayla applying for support from the EpicPromise Foundation. “[Kayla] is an awesome employee and an outstanding mother. She takes ownership of the Roxy (women's) portion of the Quiksilver store and does it while working an average of only 24 hours a week. She stopped in a few times during her leave to make sure we were doing OK with the women's sections and to give us updates on her son. Without the grant Kayla would have been backed up on bills and would've had to decide between electric/gas bills or car insurance. Making things easier on her family monetarily really helped with Oliver's recovery too. When Mom can be there taking care of him while not stressing in a cold apartment, everyone wins.”
“Without the help, this situation would have felt impossible to overcome alone,” Kayla explained. “I was able to give my son my undivided attention and love without all the financial worries. After eight weeks, his second cast was removed. He's since been recovering very well and just finished skate week at school. I'm forever grateful for the support of the EpicPromise Foundation. My team was also a huge part of this relief. To everyone at Quiksilver, thank you for all your love and support!”
Name: Derk Dekoevend
Resort: Beaver Creek
Tenure with Vail Resorts: Eight years
After a severe knee injury last summer that resulted in multiple damaged ligaments, Beaver Creek Snow Cat Operator Derk Dekoevend found himself in a difficult situation. He had not been able to work 40 hours consistently this season due to pain and his doctor was recommending surgery as the only option. But Derk had no way to pay for the critical operation. He had been paying off medical bills from past treatments, which already stretched his monthly budget, and the upfront payment required by the surgery center was overwhelming. Senior Manager of Mountain Operations Ellen Galbraith recognized Derk’s need and helped him submit a Foundation application. After receiving support in late January, Derk is now on the road to recovery and will soon be able to return to his 40 hour work week. “The EpicPromise Foundation allowed me to get my surgery accomplished. I can now look forward to coming back to work and doing a job I love.”
Bryan Calcaterra, a snowmaking team lead at Beaver Creek, can’t wait to work with Derk again. “He’s a really great operator. The EpicPromise Foundation grant alleviated stress from his situation and will help him do his job better. I’m really excited to have him back on the excavator this summer.” This sentiment extends to the entire Mountain Operations team. “We were very pleased with how quickly the help came,” said Mountain Operations Manager John Neufeld. “We told him we wanted to help because we wanted him back on the team. That felt good to him.”
Ellen recognizes the benefits the Foundation provides Vail Resorts employee living within Vail Valley and beyond. “Every employee – every person – has hardships from time to time. When those difficulties come up, the EpicPromise Foundation allows employees to stay employed and stay living in the Valley.”
If you would like to help Vail Resorts employees like Kayla and Derk, please consider making a donation to the EpicPromise Foundation. Or if you find yourself or a co-worker in need of assistance, learn more about how to fill out a Foundation application or nomination.
Questions? Contact EpicPromise