Reflections… an update from Kendall on the foundation’s ongoing impact

March 14th, 2018

Another year has passed, and I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of what we have been doing with the foundation…

Since I lasted reported to you in January of 2017, we have awarded thirteen grants totaling $33,800.  Nearly half ($15,000) of our grants went to overseas outreach through UNICEF, helping in the ongoing Syria crisis, in the African famines, and in hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.  We made these grants to fulfill one of the core components of the foundation’s mission, to provide assistance to people in desperate need around the world.  We also made grants to four new organizations.  Read more about all the grants here.

Here is an update on the financial impact the foundation is having.  As of 12/31/17, the foundation’s total assets were $716,615.  Since we formed the foundation in 2008, 161 contributors have made 254 gifts to the foundation.  And, since December of 2008, we have awarded 88 grants to 21 different organizations totaling $250,425, all in memory of Chris.  His life continues to inspire…

There are some special people I want to recognize.  I want to thank Greg Sullivan, and his team at Sullivan Gang Creative, for all the work done over the years to help us develop our website and produce our newsletters.  We are planning to work with Greg again this fall on a new newsletter, so be on the lookout for it.  We are grateful for your wonderful work in support of the foundation, Greg!

As I told you earlier, we are working with Megan Harper to maintain our foundation website,  She is posting to it regularly to keep you updated on what we are doing.  Megan has also helped us launch a Facebook page to continue to share the impact our grants are making around the world. Click here to like our page.  Thanks for your amazing contribution to the foundation, Megan!

And, I also want to again thank Bill McVey for his handling of the financial aspects of the foundation for us.  He does all of this work on a volunteer basis, another major contribution to the foundation.  Thanks, Bill!

chris-mikesell-foundation-sherry-kendall-willa-2018And finally, Willa will be two in June.  She is growing fast, talking in full sentences, and she’s been on skis a couple of times this winter.  She amazes us every day we get to spend with her.  Chris would be so proud of her!

Sherry, Laura, Julie, and I want to again thank you for your ongoing love and support as we strive to carry out Chris’s dreams through the work of The Chris Mikesell Foundation.  We hope you will have a great spring and summer…

Kendall Mikesell

Paradox Sports Thank you

March 5th, 2018

Dear Mikesell Foundation, Sherry, Laura, Julie and Kendall,

We truly appreciate you supporting Paradox Sports adaptive climbing programs again in 2017. Your donation of $1,000 on October 20, 2017, will be a huge assistance for our 2018 ice climbing trip to the Ouray Ice Park. Together we are making a big impact on the community.

Your donation supports Paradox Sports’ climbing trips and training curriculum as we continue to build community around adaptive sports for people living with physical disabilities. Each year, we host transformative climbing experiences aimed at helping individuals with physical differences achieve their climbing goals, while overcoming physical and mental obstacles. Our veteran’s programs enable former servicemen and women to take on challenges like ice climbing in Ouray, Co, or ascending iconic routes in Yosemite National Park, all while navigating the often difficult transition to civilian life. In addition to our trips, our adaptive climbing curriculum helps build adaptive climbing communities across the nation by providing clients with hands-on trainings, comprehensive adaptive climbing manuals, and specialized adaptive equimpment, enabling gyms, universities and outdoor education programs across the country to offer their services to a greater population.

Our impact in the community is made possible by the incredible support of donors like you. Thank you for your belief in our mission and for helping us to defy convention, one climb at a time. We are looking forward to sharing our successes with you.

Kind regards,

Shelley Brook
Operations Manager
Paradox Sports

Read more about the Foundation’s grant to help people with disabilities climb the mountain and see the view. 

Rebuilding a school after devastating earthquakes strike Nepal

March 4th, 2018

In 2015, Nepal was devastated by earthquakes, and many of their schools were destroyed. The dZi Foundation works in partnership with some of the most remote communities in Nepal to create lasting improvements in their quality of life. The devastating earthquakes in April and May 2015 destroyed the Janajagriti School, along with 42 others in their working area. In the month following the earthquakes, the dZi Foundation constructed Temporary Learning Centers made of roofing tin and bamboo. They also began raising funds to build new safer schools in the area that would withstand strong earthquakes. 


Students in Rok, Solukhumbu, will soon have a new school thanks in part to a Chris Mikesell Foundation grant. Photo courtesy of the dZi Foundation.

The Chris Mikesell Foundation awarded a $1,500 grant in 2017, matched by Mexicali Blues, to help rebuild the school in Rok, Solukhumbu, a remote and economically underprivileged community in Eastern Nepal.

Construction has begun, and soon 46 students will benefit from classrooms that will reduce vulnerability to injury from further earthquakes and significantly improve the learning environment. While the classrooms will be bright and spacious, the building is being constructed to a rigorous engineering standard that is designed specifically to withstand large seismic shocks.

Upon completion of the project, the dZi Foundation plans to plant a tree in Chris’ honor and post a plaque to acknowledge the grant.

Read a thank you note from the dZi Foundation. 

2017 Grants: Experiencing Nature

March 1st, 2018

The Chris Mikesell Foundation supports programs that help kids experience the outdoors in hopes that they will gain a love and appreciation for nature and our environment, just as Chris had. In 2017, the Foundation supported these organizations with grants to further that part of the mission.

To see a full history of organizations and causes the Foundation has supported, see all Funded Projects.