... AND HOW IT PERSONIFIES "LIVING PASSIONATELY"

For more than 10 years, the employees of Aspen Skiing Company have supported a very special local program that mentors youth in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Buddy Program “empowers youth through mentoring experiences” that help them reach their full potential while building connections with adult mentors. Children from ages 6 to 17 years old (also known as “Little Buddies”) are paired up with an adult (also known as “Big Buddies”) who has a mutual interest. Together, they participate in activities, share time together, and form a bond that can last a lifetime. Often, the adult mentor becomes a critical support for the young person as they navigate their path to adulthood.

ASC Buddy Program Partnership
ASC Buddy Program Partnership

“One of the most important things a Big Buddy can provide is a consistent presence — someone who will show up when they say they are going to,” says Lindsay Lofaro, Executive Director of the program.

Aspen Skiing Company supports the program in several ways.

The LEAD Program

The LEAD Program (Leadership through Exploration, Action, and Discovery) creates a setting for area teens to experience group mentoring in the great outdoors. Through teamwork, community building and outdoor recreation, teens learn to communicate with each other as well as adults, and achieve personal growth.

And while the Roaring Fork and our surrounding mountains are an ideal place to learn such skills, the program sometimes ventures further afield, to desert plateau locations in Colorado and Utah.

The employee-funded Environment Foundation is a major financial supporter of this program, contributing $10,000 in 2016 alone.

Buddy Ski Day

Every year, we host the Buddy Program Ski Day at Buttermilk, where Big and Little Buddies get to bond over a day on the slopes. This year, the event took place on February 26 and we donated 10 rentals, 18 adult and 27 youth lift tickets — a total value of $5,900.

“It was a gorgeous, sunny day,” notes Lindsay. “(It) could have lured the Big Buddies off to ski with friends or family — and, yes, many of our Big Buddies are parents themselves — but they showed up for their Little Buddy.”

Employee Mentoring

Some Aspen Skiing Company employees use their volunteer benefit toward mentoring Little Buddies, and plenty of them came for the Buddy Ski Day.

“I really enjoy the time I spend with my Little Buddy,” says Melissa Resutko, who manages the Mountain Sales Call Center in Aspen. “I enjoy it because it keeps me grounded. It is a refreshing break from the normal, day-to-day stress of adult life. My time with my Little Buddy is something I look forward to and I know she gets as much joy out of it as I do.”

Get Involved

Interested in learning more about mentoring opportunities? Our Mentoring page provides details on ways you can have a meaningful impact in the life of a young person — whether that is through the Buddy Program or one of the Roaring Fork Valley’s other youth serving organizations. Learn more, and make a difference for someone who needs it.