What It is: The Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon is a snow-sports fundraising event at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico presented by Taos Community Foundation. Celebrating 25 years of exhausting ourselves for charity.
The Ridge-A-Thon Story: Ridge-A-Thon was initiated in 1997 to help Ben Myers, a local Taos extreme skier, who passed away from cancer at age 26. The community held the Ridge-A-Thon to collect money to pay for his medical expenses. Ben is still so fondly remembered by his community and each year we take the time to continue the event in order to help others. Over the last 24 years, the Ridge-A-Thon has raised over $850,000 dollars to assist our local non-profit organizations do their best work in helping people in our community in the areas of health and basic needs. Over the years, the needs in our community have changed, and Taos Community Foundation has been responsive to those needs with our grant making paths. In the early days of emergency medicines funding, grants were awarded to local non-profits to support individuals needing assistance with prescription costs. The funds were awarded to organizations which then administered vouchers to pharmacies to fill necessary prescriptions that might otherwise not be available, due to the cost of the medication, or due to an individual’s financial limitation. This voucher program successfully assisted hundreds of men, women and children throughout the county – for antibiotics, and medications for either chronic or emergency medical issues. As this voucher program progressed, TCF was able to expand the program to include medical supplies for individuals, such as bandages and insulin test kits. TCF saw the long-term benefit to our community if basic medical needs were met. In 2010, Emergency Medicines funds supported the development of a patient advocacy program through a local pharmacy. This joint community project with Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Pharmacy created an easy one-stop alternative so individuals without prescription coverage could be enrolled in various prescription-assistance programs directly with pharmaceutical companies. This advocacy grant was instrumental in building a stronger infrastructure within the community that both served more people while also linking people to a larger network of prescription providers, that could take care of these medications for a longer period of time – another example of creating stability for individuals and families. TCF Emergency Medicines Fund has in more recent years responded to the increasing need for shelter bed services, through local programs such as Community Against Violence, Taos Coalition to End Homelessness or the Dream Tree Project. Our annual grants to local nonprofits from Emergency Medicines Fund help to provide the services and programs needed most urgently by those in our community.
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Taos Community Foundation: Taos Community Foundation (TCF) is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit serving Taos and western Colfax Counties. TCF hosts the Emergency Medicines Fund for Community Health, along with other funds that benefit community and basic needs. For more information about Taos Community Foundation, please visit www.taoscf.org or call (575) 737-9300.