Outdoor supplier donates $20,000 to Grand Valley groups

An outdoor equipment and sporting goods store has donated a total of $20,000 to four Grand Valley organizations as part of an annual nationwide grant program to preserve and maintain natural spaces through active volunteer programs.

Recreation Equipment Inc. (REI) donated $5,000 grants to the Colorado Canyons Association, Colorado National Monument Association, Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) and Grand Mesa Nordic Council.

“Part of our corporate mission is to give back to the communities in which we are present,” said Marea Goodman Ross, an REI outreach specialist in Grand Junction.

Scott Winans, president of the COPMOBA board, said REI has been a good partner with the group over the years. “Their dedication to the local trail community is impressive and appreciated,” Winans said. “We are honored to have been invited to apply for their grant cycle and are equally humbled by the company of grantees.”

COPMOBA will use the grant to build a developmental skills bike trail in the 18 Road area north of Fruita.

REI operates one of the largest consumer cooperatives in the United States. Anyone may shop at REI, but co-op members who pay $20 for a lifetime membership receive a portion of profits each year based on a percentage of their eligible purchases as well as other benefits. REI designates 3 percent of its previous year’s operating profit to an annual grants program. Because REI employees have the most direct connection to local nonprofits, employees nominate organizations from their local communities.

In Grand Junction, REI operates a store at 644 North Ave. For more information, call 254-8970 or log on to www.rei.com.