The Youth Outdoor Legacy Fund announces 2009 grants to 12 outdoor prog

Non profits face a challenging year and need grant support now more than ever; creative cause-marketing and funding ideas make a big difference

Salt Lake City, Utah and Seattle, Wash. — Four years ago, the mission of the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund was founded with two fundamental beliefs: children need to be in the outdoors more and non-profit organizations and volunteers who work with kids in the outdoors need our help. Since its inception in 2005, YOLF has made grants exceeding $585,000 to support that mission.

“We cast the net wide in our search for children's outdoor programs to fund and were pleasantly surprised by the number of quality programs being conducted in almost every corner of the U.S.,” said Dennis Madsen, founder of the Youth Outdoor Legacy Fund. “ While each program tends to be as different as night and day, the one common characteristic is the engaging outdoor activity that stimulates kid's curiosity, enthusiasm, and love of the world around them. In New York, the Rocking the Boat outdoor program gives kids and opportunity to build boats and explore the Hudson River while in Washington state, the YBOYS program uses the local Cascade Mountains as a place to challenge and excite participants. The best programs have designed their offerings based upon the unique special places close by,” he said.

“Tough economic times are challenging businesses and non profits in the outdoor community. A variety of creative approaches which mutually benefit donors (such as cause marketing or a philanthropic savings account) continue to enable support of important non-profit programs. In spite of the volatile financial markets and challenges to its own resources, the YOLF Board has agreed to continue our grants program in 2009,” Madsen added. “We are especially grateful to Merrell for their 2008 donation of $15,000 and an opt-in program of $5.00 per order from their prodeal website. They are the first to implement this type of pro-deal level cause-marketing program resulting in an additional $4,317 raised for YOLF.”

Twelve organizations are receiving grants in 2009:

• Appalachian Mountain Club (Boston, Mass.) - $15,000 for its Youth Opportunities Program (YOP)
• Bay Area Wilderness Training (Oakland, Calif.) - $15,000 to support its Wilderness Leadership Training Program
• Chicago Inner City Outings (Chicago, Ill.) - $6,000 grant to provide outings to inner-city youth
• Colorado Mountain Club (Denver, Colo.) $10,000 to support its Youth Education Program
• Ebony Rose Ski Club (Portland, Ore.) - $14,000 grant to introduce African American high school students to skiing and snowboarding as part of the youth outreach activities conducted by ERSC (Grant to be made in the fall pending results from 2008/9 program)
• Kids in Training (Cary, N.C.) - $15,000 grant to provide access to fitness and health programs
• Metrocenter YMCA/YBOYS (Seattle, Wash.) - $12,500 grant for its YBOYS Outdoor Adventure Program
• Outdoor Outreach (San Diego, Calif.) - $15,000 grant to continue its core programming work. Programs currently offered include: rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking/backpacking, river rafting, camping, surfing and marine science education.
• Passages Northwest (Seattle, Wash.) - $15,000 to support two core programs: Girls Wilderness and Girls Rock
• Rocking the Boat (New York, N.Y.) - $15,000 to support its traditional wooden boatbuilding and on-water education program
• Trips for Kids (Washington, D.C.) - $8,500 to continue its core youth nature and biking programs
• Youth Conservation Corps (Waukegan, Ill.) - $12,500 to enable youth outreach to youth living in the low-income communities of Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Beach and Mundelein, Ill., in north suburban Chicago (Lake County).

About YOLF

The Youth Outdoor Legacy Fund begins its fourth year of effective outreach to programs around the United States and is supported by generous private donors as well as these outdoor industry leaders: Patagonia, Merrell, REI, Columbia Sportswear, prAna, WL Gore, YoungOne Corporation, Black Diamond, KEEN Footwear, and the VF Corporation. The fund is being administered through the Seattle Foundation (, a highly respected and professionally managed community foundation. Grant making is overseen by the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund advisory board. YOLF was created in 2005 with the vision to engage young people in outdoor recreation while at the same time preparing them to be our future outdoor advocates. To learn more about the foundation and the programs it supports, visit the website at To add your support to YOLF, contact Dennis Madsen by e-mail at or call 206.713.1821.


The Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund announces 2011 program year grants

Seattle, Wash. and Salt Lake City, Utah - With the determination of those committed to a life rich in outdoor experiences, the Youth Outdoor Legacy Foundation board has navigated through a tough economic journey. In 2011, YOLF granted $110,000 to 8 organizations and is poised to more

The Youth Outdoor Legacy Fund awards 2008 grants to 16 organizations

It all begins in the backyard, even when you don't have one of your own Seattle, Wash., and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, Salt Lake City, Utah – Discovering an unknown wilderness near a familiar urban environment and paddling a local waterway begins a path of discovery and more

Youth Outdoor Legacy Fund announces 2010 grants to 11 organizations

With the determination of those committed to a life rich in outdoor experiences, the Youth Outdoor Legacy Foundation board has navigated through a tough economic journey. In 2010, YOLF will grant $145,000 to 11 organizations. The YOLF mission includes two important commitments: more

The North Face Announces Explore Fund Grants for Spring 2012

The North Face today announced the recipients of $125,000 of Explore Fund grants to 51 non-profit organizations in 23 different states across the country, all of which work to connect youth to the outdoors. The Explore Fund's mission is to inspire and enable the next generation more

Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund Surpasses $2 Million

CONTACT: Dennis Madsen 206.713.1821dmadsen@youthoutdoorslegacyfund.comYouth Outdoors Legacy Fund Surpasses $2 MillionSALT LAKE CITY – Unplugging kids from trilling computer games, Instant Messaging and cell phones and plugging them into the sights and sounds of an outdoor more

Patagonia and Merrell join the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund

For more information, please contact: Dennis MadsenYouth Outdoors Legacy Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Salt Lake City, Utah - Igniting the excitement of paddling through a tall canyon, waking up in a tent for the first time, more

Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund awards $70,000 in grants

The Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund (YOLF), a brainchild of former REI CEO Dennis Madsen, has distributed $70,000 to five outdoor programs that engage youth, and is looking to expand as it enters its second year of existence. When YOLF launched (click here to read the SNEWS® story, more

Merrell Raises $15,575 for Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund (YOLF) To Help

Continuing to inspire children to get outdoors and live healthy, active lives, Merrell has raised $15,575 for Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund (YOLF) through online orders in the first month of its newly designed Web site, From February 1 through March 1, Merrell more

Outdoor Nation Youth Paddle Grant Winners Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contacts Avery Stonich Outdoor Industry Association Ivan Levin The Outdoor Foundation Outdoor Nation Youth Paddle Grant Winners AnnouncedA Total of $30,000 in Awards more