In today’s lexicon, 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 gesture of blind faith with the intent to perpetuate a series of future generous acts.
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 in mind, several years ago we at the Antlers decided to host a Pay It Backward weekend. In line with our constant desire to be a good corporate citizen, we identified three dozen deserving non-profits and invited each of them to designate a person of their choice to spend two free nights in Vail … no strings attached. It could be their Executive Director or a hard working staff member. It might be their Volunteer of the Year. It could even be a recipient of their services, who they just think deserves a break today. Whoever they wanted … totally their choice. Naturally, “significant others” and family members were welcome also. We simply wanted to take the opportunity to thank them for doing what they do … helping to make this world a little better place.
Needless to say, that first year was a tremendous success. Almost all of the invited nonprofits participated and sent a deserving staff member or volunteer. They were all so appreciative and not only enjoyed a relaxing weekend away, but also the opportunity to connect with others.
Since then, we have held the second and third annual Pay It Backward Weekends. Not surprisingly, those were just as successful as the first one. In addition to the two free nights, the Antlers hosts a reception for everyone on Saturday evening. Similar to our weekly guest receptions in the winter, Chef Barry Robinson wows the crowd with his gourmet offerings. The Antlers provides plenty of wine and refreshments and people have a chance to share their non-profit’s story, if they choose. Again, no strings attached … people can come to mingle and network with all the other humanitarians, or they are totally excused if they’re just too busy enjoying Vail and our surrounding mountains.
In 2015, 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 list of invitees has changed a bit, but over the years the following organizations have been invited (somewhat randomly) to participate. We have tried to find a good mix of social, environmental, humanitarian, health, military, children and animal related causes. The Antlers had a previous relationship with some of them and others we had just always admired. Naturally, there are a million others who would be equally deserving, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.
Advocates for Children – CASA
Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
American Heart Association
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter
Arvada Center for the Arts
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Boys & Girls Clubs
Canine Companions for Independence
CAR Housing Opportunity Fund
The Center For Mental Health
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Colorado Horse Rescue
Colorado Public Radio
Colorado Fourteener Initiative
Colorado Water Trust
Denver Children’s Advocacy Center
Denver Dumb Friends League
Denver Indian Family Resource Center
Denver Rescue Mission
Engineers Without Borders
Food Bank of the Rockies
Habitat for Humanity of Colorado
Hearts and Horses
The Home Front Cares
Hope House of Colorado
Hospice of Northern Colorado
IDE – International Development Enterprises
Mesa County Partners
Mile High United Way
Mi Casa Resource Center
Rocky Mountain Raptor Program
Rocky Mountain Rescue Group
Ronald McDonald House
Salvation Army of Colorado Springs
Sense of Security
Wounded Warrior Project
Women’s Foundation of Colorado
9 Health Fair
Plans are now underway for Pay It Backward IV on May 11 – 13, 2018!
As always, the Antlers takes pride in remembering that life is short and there’s a lot more to a successful business than just making money.