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Help for MVSTA
Trails Association wins grant

The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association has won a $50,000 Endowment Grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington.

photoCelebrating the award are, left to right: CFNCW executive director Beth Stipe; MVSTA Executive Director James DeSalvo; MVSTA program manager Danica Kaufman; CFNCW board member Jane Gilbertsen.

The grant provides MVSTA a permanent fund at the Community Foundation of NCW that will generate a permanent, annual income. As the fund grows through gifts and investments, so will that income, giving MVSTA greater sustainability and potential for impacting the community long term, according to a news release 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,” in the news release.

Of the 31 applicants, 5 finalists were selected for final interviews that were conducted in early September. The Methow Conservancy, Methow Valley Sport Trails Association, Okanogan Transportation and Nutrition, Upper Valley Connection, and The Women’s Resource Center were finalists. “They are all outstanding organizations,” said Stipe, “it was a really hard decision for our board to make.”

The MVSTA grant 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, according to the release, “ and you guys haven’t seen anything yet!”

“We are truly honored to have been chosen for such a substantial award. 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,” the release quotes James DeSalvo, MVSTA’s Executive Director.

photoMVSTA dignitaries from left to right: James DeSalvo, Executive Director; Midge Cross, Board President; Danica Kaufman, Program Manager; Alan Watson, Board Treasurer.

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 and fall. Their trail model is recognized nationally for sustaining a vibrant economy and promoting healthy living.

MVSTA has secured new office space in downtown Winthrop closer to one of the main trailheads. That should lend 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.

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.


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