Running. Not my favorite activity unless it’s for a good cause. Recently I met several people who lead organizations that raise money through Charitable races here in Grand County. And in doing so they also fund many other activities that bring the outdoors to Kids with serious medical issues. Here’s one such organization.

The Scott Hughes Foundation was started by his parents, Kent and Janice, after Scott succumbed to Kidney Disease. Their Foundation is in partnership with the Children’s Hospital in Denver and is focused on providing camp scholarships for children with Kidney Disease. Because this disease takes such a terrible toll on both the child and their families, the goal of the Foundation is to “spring” kids from their hospital confinement for 1 week and give their parents a rest period to focus on each other and their other kids.

Kent and Janice started a program called “Vacation Kidney Center of the Rockies” in partnership with Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA, where Scott was a counselor before passing. It’s truly an amazing program that addresses all the issues, for both family and patient, affected by this terrible disease. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is also a major, and long-time, supported of the program, something that Kent and Janice deeply appreciate.

The process starts with the Children’s Hospital selecting patient’s that are medically unable to attend the 1-week camp. Once selected the kids travel to the YMCA accompanied by 2 nurses. The kids are assigned their living space which can be either in the regular dorms or if needed at the Health Center at the YMCA. From there it’s a week of outdoor fun interrupted only by trips back to Denver if dialysis treatment is needed.

The Foundation covers all camp costs. In addition, funding to help the families can also cover expenses like medications, travel, co-pays, and even computer access for Skyping if needed.  Funding is primarily through its annual Run for Independence, held on the closest Saturday to the 4th of July and an annual golf outing in Oregon held by Scott’s University of Oregon fraternity brothers. While I don’t often run anymore, I may be playing golf next year in Oregon to support this wonderful program. Direct donations are also accepted. See below.

About Scott :

Directly donate to the Scott Hughes Endowed Fund through the Denver Children’s Hospital:


Following up on how Grand County organizations help support, and heal, Kids with difficult medical issues, next week’s column will feature the Shining Stars Foundation, another wonderful program supporting children living with pediatric cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Like the Scott Hughes Foundation, they also bring support through outdoor, social and recreational experiences.