The leftovers have been warmed up — and warmed up again — and there’s finally room in the refrigerator for regular groceries. Nearly everybody’s back at school or work following the Thanksgiving holidays. Black Friday is a memory, Cyber Monday wrapped up a few hours ago and we’re now well into Giving Tuesday.
What is Giving Tuesday? Often touted as #GivingTuesday for those aficionados of hashtags, this 24-hour period — celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — is designated as an international day of charitable giving at exactly the time many families and corporations are focusing on their end-of-year donations. Donors often turn to their own communities for such offerings, and for those supporters, friends and alumni of Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, we can think of no group that would be more grateful than our own Graduate Higher Education Fund recipients.
Back in the 1997 when our school was still in its infancy, we realized that while our new graduates had accomplished great feats in their personal growth, maturity and education, they were often faced with insurmountable financial needs — especially when it came to higher education. It was at this point that Robert Burkhardt, our founding Head of School, along with Dick Herb, who was at that time our Director of Operations, put their heads together and came up with a plan. Herb took a close look at the budget and was able to come up with $1,000 that was subsequently awarded to one graduate.
The next trimester, the same amount of money was raised for each of our graduates. By then, we began to hire the school out for Eagle Serve once a trimester, helping community members with tasks and raising Graduate Higher Education Fund monies along the way. Then the school became active with the Estes Park Duck Race, selling rubber duckies for an annual charity event just down the road from our mountainside campus.
In addition, Eagle Rock supporters sent out letters to family and friends, asking for monetary support. And a $50,000 donation from the American Honda Education Corp. went a long way toward seeding the Graduate Higher Education Fund.
Today, each Eagle Rock graduate is eligible for a $14,000 scholarship toward vocational training, undergraduate and graduate school (up to $2,000 per year for four years of undergraduate studies, and up to $2,000 per year for up to three years of graduate school). As a result, each qualifying Eagle Rock School grad who applies has money for tuition, books, bus passes, registration deposit, and more.
For those of us who work, live, teach or learn on our campus and beyond, 2018 has been a year of milestones, including crossing the threshold of awarding more than $1 million in scholarships for our graduates — $53,332 this past year alone — since our founding in the early-1990s. And, of course, the highlight of this year was celebrating our 25th anniversary at a summer 2018 event that saw hundreds of alumni, parents, students, staff and other Eagle Rock community members gather on our campus from points all across the globe for a day of reminiscing, storytelling and gratitude.
If you’re a fan of Eagle Rock School and want to do something to contribute to the next quarter century of our history of reengaging youth in their own education, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today — Tuesday, Nov. 27. You can write a check to the Graduate Higher Education Fund and mail it to the address below, oryou donate to the fund online using our secure online donation page.
To donate by check, please mail your donation to:
Eagle Rock School
Attn.: Graduate Fund
2750 Notaiah Road
Estes Park, Colorado 80517
To donate online using Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, please visit: