Mt. Ashland closing in on end-of-the-year donations

Mount Ashland, Ore. —  Only on NBC5 News – Mount Ashland needs your help. It’s trying to raise $125,000 by the end of the year. As of Thursday, it’s $15,000 short of that goal.

Mount Ashland’s general campaign has already raised more than $1 million. But its most recent campaign will be matched from a generous Rogue Valley foundation. At first glance, staff at Mount Ashland are busy working on fine details in its newly renovated lodge and moving snow. But behind the scenes, the focus is on meeting goals.

“Completely humbled by the amount of support we’ve gotten from everybody in the Rogue Valley,” Hiram Towle said, general manager for Mount Ashland Ski Area.

Mount Ashland has been raising funds to cover the lodge renovation. Towle said, so far, the campaign’s been successful – raising big money.

“$1.365 million in less than a year,” Towle said.

Towle said the bulk of that is from the generosity of the Karen and Sid Deboer Foundation.

“They offered up a half a million dollar match,” Towle said.

And that wasn’t all.

“After that, Sid threw out another challenge before December,” Towle said.

And that still wasn’t the end of the foundation’s marathon of giving.

“The checks rolled in – we very easily met that goal and so he offered another $25,000,” Towle said.

With only a few days left in the campaign, recent political decisions turned out to be in Mount Ashland’s favor.

“The new tax package that’s just gotten passed, we know the end of year giving is going to be pretty exciting. A lot of people have to basically have to find a place for their money at the end of the year,” Towle said.

Many are choosing to donate their dollars to Mount Ashland.

“We’ve done our best to try to operate and maintain the ski area on operating dollars from ski tickets and other revenues,” Towle said.

Unfortunately, it’s just not enough – especially when trying to keep up with larger projects like the lodge renovation.

“thankfully, they are willing to invest in,” Towle said.

Another major factor for asking for donations instead of pulling from operating dollars – keeping the cost low on tickets.

“We can offer discounted learn-to-ski programs, the after school programs are highly discounted,” Towle said.

To make it more reasonable for anyone who wants to head up to the mountain, to be able to.

“Try to remove those barriers to entry for pretty much any family in the valley – we want to have to come ski,” Towle said.

If you’d like to donate to Mount Ashland, it said you can do it directly to their website. The mountain said if and when its goal is reached, the money will go right back into ski area funding to support other capital projects. Though nothing is set just yet, additional parking plans is on the list for enhancements in the future.

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