In today’s uncertain world, amidst the COVID-19 global health pandemic and societal challenges, there remain many bright spots, with people eager to act, do good and help one another. POWDR teams embody this drive to do good, to Play It Forward.
Across POWDR’s businesses, staff have taken a variety of actions in support of one another and the communities in which they operate. From donating food and making masks, to serving on the front lines, employees are doing what they can to assist their communities, and this has spurred POWDR to launch Play It Forward, an employee and community-centric philanthropic program.
“Doing what we can to support our community during this challenging time comes naturally to the Killington team, and it’s something we are proud to do,” says Jordan Spear, Killington’s director of marketing, sales and reservations. “We are all pitching in in unique ways, and that means everything from jumping in to host a grocery drive for our community to helping out at the golf pro shop so that our guests may return to some sense of normal with a round of golf.”
This commitment by POWDR and its employees to be part of the fabric of the communities in which its teams love to live, work and play is evidenced by the new Play It Forward program, which launched today at all POWDR resorts as part of the company’s corporate responsibility commitment to Play Forever.
“Play It Forward is our all-encompassing employee and community-centric philanthropic program,” says Laura Schaffer, POWDR’s corporate responsibility director, who will manage and oversee the initiative in partnership with general managers and local teams. “The Play It Forward ‘kick-off campaign’ will run through the month of June, during which we will continue to support our local communities with donations, hear stories from employees and community members on how they are giving back and come together as a team to Play It Forward.”
The program will come to life locally, in support of each community in which POWDR operates. Schaffer explains that this is consistent with the company’s local-at-the-core strategy. Ways to Play It Forward include: volunteering time; contributing items in need; and donating to Play It Forward Funds established in partnership with local community foundations in the name of each POWDR resort.
Play It Forward’s charitable giving component would not be possible without the extremely generous $2.25M gift from our founder and chairman, John Cumming, his brother, David Cumming, and the Cumming Foundation. This gift established the BU Play It Forward Funds, and the company hopes the Cumming family’s generosity inspires staff and others to do what they can to contribute—whether it be to donate items in need, volunteer time, offer small acts of kindness that Play It Forward, or give to local Play It Forward Funds. Anyone can make donations to our communities through the Play It Forward Funds in each BUs name, and corporate employees are encouraged to donate to the BU fund of their choice.
“Our communities are faced with unique challenges,” says Schaffer. “They rely heavily on tourism, and the high country being shuttered by stay at home ordinances has created scenarios where the ecosystem is struggling. Partnering with community foundations to provide funds to nonprofits on the front lines is a way that, very true to who we are, we can help our community navigate this crisis. Our goal is for our communities to be well-positioned to continue to provide enriching outdoor experiences for years to come.”
“We are most excited that anyone can participate in Play It Forward,” adds Laura Overfield, Boreal / Woodward’s finance manager. “Beyond employees looking for ways to support one another, many of our guests have asked how they can support the mountain community during these uncertain times, and we’re making it easy for them to join in by volunteering or donating.”
At most POWDR resorts, guests have the ability to donate to the most pressing needs by selecting a Play It Forward donation in the resort pass purchasing process. The ability to Play It Forward will be offered throughout the 2020/21 season.
Foundational to Play It Forward is POWDR’s desire to enhance people’s lives, drawing on POWDR’s mission to deliver memorable experiences, enhance people's lives and have fun doing it.
“When it comes to our mission, we desire to enhance everyone’s life,” says John Cumming. “Being able to do so starts with a thriving mountain community ready to deliver the adventure lifestyle for future generations.”
Cumming, Schaffer and the entire POWDR family hope that Play It Forward provides the support our communities need as they successfully navigate COVID-19 and beyond so they may continue to thrive as hubs for living the adventure lifestyle.
Play It Forward initially launched at Killington/Pico, Copper Mountain, Eldora, Woodward Park City, Boreal/Soda Springs, Mt. Bachelor, SilverStar, and Lee Canyon and will launch at POWDR’s other businesses in a later phase.