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Vail Resorts on Wednesday issued the following press release on Executive Chairperson Rob Katz donating approximately $32.5 million in stock proceeds to various mental health and social justices causes around the nation:
Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today announced that Executive Chairperson Rob Katz has exercised stock appreciation rights (SARs), and will be making a charitable donation of 100% of the net proceeds he received. After withholding shares for payment of the exercise price and taxes, Katz received 98,209 shares of Vail Resorts stock from the SARs exercise. Based on the net proceeds from the sale of that stock, the donation is equal to approximately $32.5 million. Katz and his wife Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, have now donated over $180 million over the past five years to their charitable trust and foundation, representing 100% of the proceeds from their sales of Vail Resorts stock.
In addition, Katz and Amsterdam, via their family’s charitable trust, announced charitable grants totaling almost $4.9 million. Of that amount, $2.3 million will be granted to non-profit organizations that support mental and behavioral health in the mountain communities where Vail Resorts operates. The charitable trust also granted over $1 million to non-profits working to expand behavioral health equity to support communities of color in the Western U.S. and almost $1.5 million in grants to support organizations that help promote multiracial civic engagement across the country.
Expanded focus on mental and behavioral health grants:
$2.3 million will be granted to mountain community non-profits dedicated to increasing access to mental and behavioral healthcare with a focus on providing tele-behavioral health services, improving services for those in recovery from drug or substance misuse, and creating more equitable access to care for BIPOC communities within these mountain communities.
“Elana and I are so impressed with the work the mountain communities have done to improve mental and behavioral health care over the last several years,” said Katz. “While there is still more to do, especially to ensure underserved communities are getting the care they need, the dedication by so many organizations to increasing services and innovating new approaches is inspiring.”
Additionally, as part of the nationwide focus on racial justice announced in June 2021, the charitable trust made an additional $1 million in grants that will expand health equity across the western U.S., with emphasis on advancing mental and behavioral health opportunities within BIPOC communities. The Foundation believes that eliminating the stigma and discrimination associated with behavior health issues in communities of color is a critical component of advancing racial justice.
“Disparities and discrimination in our mental and behavioral healthcare system have led to inequities in access and care for those who are seeking support, creating true injustices in the ability for many communities to benefit from full access to the services they need,” said Katz. “We’re fortunate to be able to help support the innovative strategies communities are developing to create true equity in our behavioral health systems and approaches.”
Civic engagement grants:
Finally, through almost $1.5 million in grants, the charitable trust will support organizations working to ensure civic engagement by combatting voter suppression measures, reducing barriers for BIPOC communities to vote, and increasing voter participation.
“We cannot address the broad behavioral health challenges faced by many communities across the United State without systemic policy and legislative changes at the local and national level, and those changes will not be possible without ensuring that all communities are fully and equally participating in our democratic process,” said Katz.