In previous stories about Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) team members, we have talked about the fact that so many of them have been with the organization for so long. For example, Jeff Inouye has been with BOEC for 27 years, Jaime Overmyer for 17 years, Claire DiCola for 15 years and Melissa Kuwahara for 19 years to name just a few. However, there is some new blood at the BOEC and this month we shine the spotlight on one in particular, Development Manager Hallie Jaeger, now entering her third year with the nonprofit.
Hallie has had quite the journey before landing at the BOEC in January of 2019. The Wisconsin native attended college at Indiana University, moved to Paris for a bit, spent a short time in Newport Beach, CA, worked the corporate ladder in Chicago, backpacked through South East Asia for nine months and completed graduate school at the University of Denver before finally settling down, so to speak, in Summit County. In what would be a lifetime for many, the 35-year-old seems to be just getting started with her new career at the BOEC.
“I describe myself as a ‘sconnie spirit living at 10K+ feet,’ meaning I am very proud of my Wisconsin roots,” says Jaeger. “But I consider the mountains and sunshine and the Summit County community my home now. I am here to stay.”
As BOEC’s Development Manager, Hallie is tasked with the responsibility of raising funds through grants, fundraising, special events and a slew of other methods to support BOEC’s programs. However, while raising money is an important part of her job, it’s the gratitude she is able to express everyday that really kindles her spirit.
“The BOEC is a very special organization from the participants we serve, to the interns and staff we employ, to our volunteers, and especially our donor community,” she says. “So just being able to call up a volunteer and say, ‘We cannot thank you enough for your time,’ or writing a letter to a donor to express ‘your support makes such a difference’ on a daily basis really fills me with a sense of purpose and a reminder of all the good in the world.”
Under Hallie’s tenure, the evolution in fundraising strategy and special events has been extremely evident. The organization continues to surpass fundraising goals year after year and Hallie is at the forefront of making this all happen. But she is quick to point to the “BOEC family” that makes all the difference.
“We are truly like a family,” Hallie says with a smile. “I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have surrounded myself with great leaders and career opportunities, but BOEC is the next level as far as leadership and caring for one another. There is a genuine and profound care everyone on the team has for one another and everyone inspires me to maximize my potential and show up as my best self day after day.”
And show up as her best self is what she does. Status quo is not part of the equation for Hallie as she is constantly looking for ways to improve and face challenges head on. One such challenge revolves around what individuals, grantors and others want to fund. She points to the fact that, in the adaptive sports industry, the majority of funding is geared towards youth and is why approximately 60 percent of BOEC participants are 18 and under. However, these young people all grow up, they still have the same disability they had when they were kids and as adults, still need access to the therapeutic and healing activities BOEC provides. This is something Hallie is working hard to change through clear communication with funders and a gift of telling the story.
“There isn’t much corporate, foundation, or individual funding available for adults,” she points out. “I feel for those adults and just wish people would want to support everyone through their entire life cycle, making full funding opportunities easy to come by.”
In three words, Hallie describes the BOEC as encouraging, compassionate and joyful, something we would argue fits her life as well. While she dedicates herself to the BOEC full-time, Hallie is also an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Mountain College teaching in the Sustainability Department and loves to spend time with her dog Dil as well as skiing, hiking, mountain biking, sailing, singing and just about everything else there is to do in our mountain community. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about her is that she danced with the Milwaukee Ballet Company as a ballerina for years.
“ If I hear Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker or Swan Lake my toes automatically point and I want to start twirling,” she says.
Tchaikovsky and mountain living aside, Hallie has some choice words for anyone that might be thinking about donating, volunteering or giving back to the BOEC in any way.
“Do it,” she exclaims. “BOEC changes lives for the better for anyone connected to the organization. Your donation of time or money is utilized responsibly and makes a difference. Plus, then you also get to hear a special thank you from me!”
Well, here’s our special thank you from the BOEC to you, Hallie. Thank you for all you do everyday!
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