The term “Pay It Forward” has come to mean doing something nice for someone in hopes that they’ll do something nice for someone else … a wonderful act of blind faith. Logically then, “Pay It Backward” must refer to that circumstance when someone has already been so nice that they simply deserve a little reward.
With that twist on the concept, in 2015 the Antlers at Vail hotel created a “Pay It Backward” event as a way to say thank you to 36 Colorado nonprofits for all that they do. Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine sent a letter asking the nonprofits to select anyone they wanted – including employee, volunteer or client – to receive two free nights’ lodging at the Antlers over the weekend of May 15-17, with a special reception on Saturday evening.
The first annual “Pay It Backward” weekend was a tremendous success. Most of the invited nonprofits participated and sent a deserving staff member or volunteer, who were so very appreciative and not only enjoyed a weekend away but also making connections at a complimentary reception with wine and appetizers prepared by Vail catering chef Barry Robinson.
Fireside Productions attended on behalf of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and donated their time in producing a video that captured the spirit of the event.
The Antlers intent was to build upon this event in the years ahead, adding more nonprofits and perhaps even inspiring other area lodges to join the effort someday. “Naturally, there are a million organizations who would be equally deserving, but we needed to start somewhere,” says LeVine of the 36 chosen to participate initially. “We’re hoping this is the start of something that grows as it captures the spirit of gratitude we mean when we say ‘pay it backward.’”
Happily, the second annual Pay It Backward weekend was held in May of 2016. The list of invitees grew slightly and it was every bit as meaningful and successful as the first go-round. Plans are now underway for number three, in May of 2017! If you know of a Colorado non-profit that’s especially deserving of some appreciation, let us know. We can’t guarantee they’ll get invited, but we’ll sure consider it.