How did you first learn about PCEF?
I first learned about PCEF when I started working at Westgate in 2013. After I started getting involved with my coworkers who organized our volunteer activities, I learned that we had once participated in Running W Ed as volunteers. I am an adamant runner… not a good runner, ha! I run because I love it and I thought we could get more involved and aimed to set up a running team and a volunteer team.
Why were you interested in learning more about PCEF?
Once we found out how many programs PCEF provided to the district and the extensive impact it made, we wanted to get more involved than just in Running w Ed. We sought out to find which programs fit our own foundation mission and found that Bright Futures was a perfect match.
What did you want out of the relationship you were building with PCEF?
Ultimately, we wanted to give back to our hard-working team members who live in Park City and who’s children attend the PCSD. Our company looks to the resort communities for support in running our resorts and we find we are compelled to invest in those surrounding communities to honor and support our team. We continue to look outside of Park City for new and exciting ways to give back to our team members who live all around in the beautiful surrounding areas so that we can continue to fulfill this goal.
What convinced you to make your first donation?
It didn’t take much convincing! Before working for Westgate, I worked in public schools, charter schools and museum education for years. I know how valuable it is to have an organization with as hard working and committed team members as are in PCEF. It’s rare to see such an expansive array of programming offered with such innovative cutting edge ideas and I felt it was important for Westgate to support the students who show up, do the work, and the teachers who go beyond the regular school day to fulfill the program goals for these students. Outside of my own reasons for wanting Westgate to get involved is the additional focus placed on education within our Foundation. Education is one of the four pillars that drive our Foundation. The Westgate Foundation believes that a solid education can provide the guide and structure for future entrepreneurs to think outside the box and start their own businesses the way that David Siegel built Westgate Resorts. When students don’t have a platform to be creative and innovative, and a support system in place to act as a guide, we all lose out.
How did you feel at every step of the way? What emotions did you go through at each stage of the process?
Being a part of PCEF is like being a part of a family. The family values that we hold dear at Westgate are integrity, work ethic, and passion. I know we are in the right place when we participate because we feel these same values in the PCEF programs and with all the PCEF team members!
Were there different volunteer, participation, or giving opportunities that influenced how you worked with PCEF?
The fact that the communication between the PCEF and us is so fantastic helps us to feel that we are always in the loop with what is going on and how we can be part of it.
What has changed for you since establishing your relationship with PCEF? How do you feel now?
Well, I feel quite confidant in judging K-2 science fairs, which I had never thought to do before! I feel strong and powerful when my coworkers and I are running up 800+ stairs @ 7000ft elevation at Olympic Park, I feel proud when we are able to provide a vacation package to the Red Apple Gala silent auction, and I feel exhilarated when I am at the top of the ropes course at NAC watching the Bright Futures kids crushing that course like its nothing! Those kids are legit!