One of the best outcomes of Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center’s (BOEC) Holiday Appeal is not only raising approximately 15% of our annual development budget, but having the chance to reach out to all of our donors and hear their stories and inspiration for giving to BOEC. This year, our 13 full time staff members made a tremendous effort to personally call or email all 387 donors who contributed over $172K to the record-breaking campaign. And some of the stories we heard were very impactful. Thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to tell us your “why!”

It’s an invigorating experience for the BOEC staff to make these personal connections to our donors, and hearing their reasons to give inspires us everyday. However, one story in particular really pulled on the heart strings of BOEC’s marketing manager, Barry Rubenstein, after speaking with Jim Bartlett to thank him for his original donation.

As they chatted on the phone, Barry learned that not only was Jim’s daughter a BOEC ski instructor 30 years ago, but the family has a unique Christmas giving tradition. Each year, all family members participate in a Secret Santa way of giving, where each person gives their chosen recipient a gift and a contribution to a non-profit of their choice. So, Jim drew his grandson, Jack, as this year’s Secret Santa and Jack subsequently chose the BOEC to donate to. After speaking with Barry during the “thank you call” Jim was so enthralled with what the BOEC is doing, upon learning more, he decided to make another donation in Jack’s name.

“This is the power of making a difference in the lives of so many,” says Barry.  “I cannot thank Jack, Jim and the rest of the Bartlett family for sharing their traditions with the BOEC.”

And speaking of making a difference, Jim explains his reasons behind his philanthropic efforts. “We are fortunate to have a tradition and the wherewithal to give back, to reach down and help others rise, to support organizations such as yours that are devoted to helping those in need of special care. As parents, and now even grandparents, we want the children to get the message that sharing wealth and energy to help others is a key to fulfilling generational support to those in need.”

And while this wonderful tradition is sure to create an entire family of philanthropists moving forward, Jim is awed with BOEC’s participants and staff and what they are doing. This amazement is his “why” for giving specifically to the BOEC.

“BOEC is a special organization that helps those that are facing serious challenges in doing even the most basic things on the ski slopes,” he says. “The participants involved are extraordinary in their determination to be able to deal with navigating the runs, getting on and off lifts, and generally engaging others who are not dealing with disabilities. They are extraordinary people who have been dealt, in most cases, a terrible hand in life yet they want to participate and take on the challenges. Anything that can be done to help them is a great gift and life changing in so many ways. Helping them is a deserving endeavor to say the least. BOEC has a life changing mission and you’re on the right path, for sure.”

For more information on how to support the BOEC, please visit our Support BOEC page.