Moving Mountains to a Permanent Home for Ignite

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To Our Dedicated Ignite Community:

Every letter I read these days is about the drama of 2020. I want to share with you another perspective. Yes, the pandemic is awful. Yes, the current political unrest is challenging. Yes, we, as a country, have our challenges. What is unwavering is our support of Ignite and the community we serve. That fills me with hope.

Last April, I shared with you the GIANT step forward that we took with Powdr (Eldora’s parent company). In the face of our current recession and the challenges of redesigning everything from the ground up, Eldora has been indefatigable in their commitment to Ignite. Forging forward with our building permit with the County, ensuring that the current World Headquarters is “sea worthy”, coordinating with our COVID-19 response plan, and supporting our training efforts, Eldora has been a perfect partner.

So where are we with the new building? First, the challenging news: We are still in the building permit process. It is moving forward, but slower than I would like. The reality is, the building season in the mountains starts in late June, so the building permit delays are not particularly consequential.

Of more consequence is the fact that during all of this uncertainty, our donors have remained extremely generous to Ignite both for our operations and for the capital fund. I am extremely proud to report that as of today we have raised in gifts and pledges $1.2 million for our new home. Our goal is $1.9 million. We have only $700,000 to go!

These donations have been earmarked specifically for the Capital Campaign. In addition, we are ahead of budget on donations to support our operations. This is crucial, given the limited lesson revenue we are budgeting for the 2020-2021 season. As a result, Ignite is in solid financial shape to weather the current year’s challenges.

Starting this January, Ignite is kicking off the next initiative to support our building fund. We are calling it our Grassroots Campaign. Katie Theiler and Stuart Ollanik, our Grassroots chair-folks, have done an amazing job over the past several months to develop a plan to engage everyone who wants to be involved to help raise funds for our permanent home. The first email went out January 5th, so take a look in your inbox—you don’t want to miss this fun.

While we are all eager to move into our new home, World Headquarters will continue to serve our needs (to the best of its tired, old abilities) for the next season or two. Over the summer, our crack facilities volunteers conducted an assessment and there was significant work that had to occur. Thanks to them and to the facilities staff at Eldora, we are patched up and good-to-go at WHQ again this season.

I hope you share my enthusiasm as you read these words. There is so much to be thankful for and so many good things happening. I invite you to join the board, staff, donors, students, fellow volunteers and the community at large to help us reach the $1.9 million needed to get our new home built. We are off to a good start, but still have a ways to go. Please consider joining the Grassroots effort.  It is my sincere hope that our new building will be built with gifts (large and small) from across our community. If you know someone, a foundation or company that might be interested in participating, please reach out to either me at [email protected] or Carol Nickell, our Executive Director at [email protected].

Thank you for your dedication to Ignite and the adaptive community we serve. Whether you chose to instruct this season or not, I respect your decision and appreciate your many contributions (past and future). Ignite is a unique institution and its 50 years of success is because of you.

Tom Kissinger, Ignite Board President

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
—Margaret Mead

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