2020 Rescue Fund raises $5 million for COVID-19 response

A group of local Aspenites have been working together, and with Aspen Community Foundation, on an approach to help those individuals, families, nonprofits, and small businesses severely impacted by the health and financial crisis. They have established the 2020 Rescue Fund as a charitable fund at Aspen Community Foundation.

The leaders of the group, Bob Hurst, Melony Lewis, and Jerry Greenwald have broadened the fundraising and, together with 35 locals, have pledges in hand of $3.8 million. Melony Lewis explained that by broadening the numbers of supporters and amount of funding raised, the group will have more ability to support those in dire need. “We know that the needs are far beyond what we could each do individually; collectively, we can make a real difference,” she said.

The 2020 Rescue Fund, working with Aspen Community Foundation, will support social service nonprofits that are providing essential humanitarian assistance during the crisis, helping individuals who “fall through the cracks” receive the assistance they need, and seek ways to address gaps that will exist in the region due to the scale of issues.

Jerry Greenwald made the point that the three leaders of the group are spending a lot of time talking with Aspen Community Foundation, county and city officials, social service nonprofits, health organizations, educational leaders, and other knowledgeable people to assess the needs of the community and “to ensure that grants are distributed to the most needy on a timely basis, with efficiency and effectiveness.”

As an organization committed to serving the Aspen to Parachute region since 1980, Aspen Community Foundation has been directing philanthropic support to those in need. In responding to the COVID-19 crisis, ACF is facilitating financial resources, convening nonprofit, school, and government stakeholders to assess needs, and disbursing funds to organizations that are helping those experiencing hardship.

“We strongly believe that we must step up in this crisis,” said Bob Hurst. “We are in challenging times, but adversity can bring out the best in people.”

If you want to contribute any amount to this effort please send a check to the 2020 Rescue Fund at Aspen Community Foundation (455 Gold Rivers Court, Suite 515, Basalt, CO 81621) or donate online.