When the Askers Give

When the Askers Give

In non-profits, we “ask” for a lot. We even have mailings and positions dedicated to asking. Luckily, our organization is able to serve the community through the generosity of the community itself. When we ask, the community often delivers. For that, we are so thankful.

Every once in a while the Symposium staff gets asked for something outside of the organization, in our personal lives, and we do our best to offer this same generosity of giving to various groups. Most recently, our Program and Marketing Director, John O’Neill, doubles as a professional athlete and represents the United States in triathlons all over the world. Throughout his career in athletics, he has had the opportunity to meet with the world’s top fitness specialists in running, biking, swimming, nutrition and all else pertaining to performance.

For their final project at Battle Mountain High School, anatomy seniors were asked to design an energy bar or sports drink given their acquired bio-chemistry knowledge throughout the semester. To supplement the information the students had gained from their teacher and their reading, John volunteered his time to go and talk to the seniors about how he personally uses these products to perform. He answered questions and helped the seniors determine, from his point of view, what they should or should not include in their designs. It may not have been in cash-donation form, but for a couple of hours he was able to return some knowledge and his time to the community.


About halfway through the winter while setting up for an event, a representative from the Vail Valley Young Professionals Association was looking for a TIPS certified bartender for an event they had scheduled for the next night. It just so happened that Tracey Flower, the Symposium’s Executive Director, was standing nearby and raised her hand. She was certified and fit the bill. After a day of work, and the day after the Symposium had just organized an event where she had stayed until after 8 p.m., she headed into Vail to fill a gap that needed filling.

Kristen Van Norman is the Symposium’s new Development Associate. There will be more information on this great addition to the office in the near future. She comes to the Symposium with a history of giving back. Most recently, she worked with the Bright Future Foundation to help them raise money. She wouldn’t see a dime of the money she raised, but knew that each note and coin was going toward a worthy cause.

All in the office, for one reason or another, decided to put their foot in the non-profit pond. At the Symposium we all truly believe in our mission and absolutele believe that the Symposium belongs to the community, and that our time here is of value to all that support us. But beyond the office, we carry the same love for Vail, volunteering and helping out whenever and wherever we can.


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