Community Foundation of New Jersey

Foundation Brings 819 Children to Vernon to Experience Winter Sports

March 30, 2016

The Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) today congratulated the 819 children who participated in winter sports lessons and activities at the recently opened National Winter Activity Center (NWAC) located at the former Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Vernon, New Jersey.

The Warm Jacket Fund at the Community Foundation of New Jersey sponsored the children, none of whom have participated in winter sports nor would otherwise have the opportunity. The fund was created by anonymous donors who wished to provide safe and healthy outdoor activities to children in communities without easy access to the outdoors.

Grants totaling $368,550 from the fund supported NWAC’s work with the children, including mentor-based instruction and a focus on health and fitness.

“It was so much more than an ‘experience’,” said Charity Haygood, Principal at BRICK Avon Academy, one of the participating schools. “It was a peek into a lifestyle that these students can choose for themselves and their families through hard work and academic success. It was a dream come true for my kids to be able to partake in such a powerful opportunity.”

“I loved seeing the children help each other and pass it on,” said Brandon Pearce, one of the NWAC instructors. “When I said to the students, ‘maybe you will be the one teaching other kids to ski one day’, they immediately asked, ‘how old do I have to be to become a ski coach?’”

Pearce explained that the children are strong learners who, after just one run or two, would not only master something they had earlier struggled with, but also then assist their friends past the same hurdles. He called it “amazing to watch” the kids take the lead over their own learning.

“These incredible gifts are a reminder that philanthropic pursuits can run the gamut, and the ways to make a meaningful difference are just as broad,” said Hans Dekker, CFNJ’s president. “We are so grateful for these donors’ generosity and passion for healthy kids and we’re privileged to help their philanthropy come to life.”

CFNJ brings donors and causes together to identify shared priorities, develop innovative solutions, and deliver clear outcomes. The process helps existing and aspiring philanthropists achieve their goals for the communities they care about. Anyone interested in supporting the work of the Warm Jacket Fund may contact CFNJ at 973-267-5533.

NWAC provides continuous, mentor-based instruction and nutritious meals to participants from youth serving agencies from the Tri-State area. It delivers on its programs in partnership with the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, local schools, and other organizations. To learn more about the programming at NWAC, visit www.Winter4Kids.org or call 973-846-8250.

About the Community Foundation of New Jersey

Established in 1979, the Community Foundation of New Jersey’s mission is to support charitable giving that is inspired by our fundholders, targeted at making our communities stronger, driven by creative solutions, and effective in achieving lasting change.  Through a combination of Legacy Funds and Donor Advised Funds, the foundation has granted an average of more than $30 million each year to charitable organizations and currently stewards over $380 million in charitable assets for current needs and future challenges.