We just received word that the Catena Foundation plans to award a $50,000 grant to Verde Valley Wheel Fun.
The grant will be used to help achieve the five year goal of transitioning FUN from an all-volunteer based operation to one run by professional staff, augmented by volunteers, and governed by an all-volunteer board of directors.
FUN first reached out to the Catena Foundation on March 21, 2019 to thank them for the work they're doing in Northern Arizona and provide an introduction to its work. That outreach resulted in a call in April and we have been working with Catena since then getting them comfortable with what we're doing.
Mike Wight, Catena Foundation's Restoration and Trails Program Officer, made a site visit in December 2019 to see the Youth Program first hand at Oak Creek Elementary School. Cottonwood Elementary School Superintendent, Steve King, and Oak Creek Principal Nayadin Persaud met with Mike and told him what the program means to them. Then, Mike went on a six mile trail ride with the kids who we know sold him.
The Catena Foundation is a private grant making organization founded by Sam R. Walton in 2017 and is headquartered in Carbondale, CO. The Catena Foundation focuses on making grants to environment, community development and education organizations in the Four Corners area of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.