HUNTSVILLE -- The large, white barn on Pineview Reservoir's shore welcomes visitors to the Ogden Valley.
That iconic barn will remain there for tomorrow's drivers, partly because of work done by a valley nonprofit group, the Ogden Valley Land Trust.
"We protect and preserve," said land trust chairwoman Jody Smith, "and take care of the land."
The land trust was one of 16 Ogden Valley charity groups that have been awarded more than $71,000 in the first full year of a new endeavor that focuses on doing good works in this community.
The Ogden Valley Community Foundation concluded a monthslong project, called The 2012 Amazing Raise, which organizers described as a runaway success.
The foundation, now ending its first full year, identifies charities that spread their wealth in the upper valley and then acts as a fundraising hub, collecting money it then distributes among them, said board member Nancy Patton, of Huntsville.
The 16 nonprofits include groups like Ogden Nordic, which keep cross-country trails groomed; it received a grant of $11,500. Weber Pathways, builder of walking and biking trails throughout Weber County, was awarded $9,500 toward its work in Ogden Valley.
Among the recipients was the Wolf Creek Foundation, which treats service members who are readying for deployment to a weekend mountain retreat with their families.
In addition, OVCF takes in parent-teacher associations for schools in the valley, as well as city parks and arts organizations. The size of each award was based on the individual groups' marketing efforts, as well as donors' preferences.
Smith, of Eden, was among those who were surprised and delighted that an organized, volunteer group such as the foundation would come forward to raise funds for them. "This is a first," she said.
Helping the helpers
Nonprofit charity groups that benefited from the Ogden Valley Community Foundation's 2012 Amazing Raise:
* Eden Park District * Huntsville Town Park * Liberty Park * Ogden Nordic * Ogden Valley Arts * Ogden Valley Land Trust * Ogden Valley Tennis Association * Ogden Valley Winter Sports Foundation * Snowbasin Adaptive Sports Education Foundation * Snowcrest Parent Teacher Organization * Weber Pathways * Weber School Foundation * Wolf Creek Foundation
"I can't believe what they've done in one year," she said.
She added she was impressed by the tremendous energy and dedication of board members and volunteers, who "worked an unbelievable amount of man hours -- and you think, this is just their first year."
The Ogden Valley Land Trust, said Smith, will use the funds to continue its work with property owners to, in many cases, create "easements" that will protect "in perpetuity" vulnerable and beautiful areas from development. Among its most visible efforts is the Fowers family property with the striking, white barn. The family "could sell it for millions of dollars," Smith said. "Instead, they decided to preserve it for all of us."
For the fundraising, Ogden Valley Community Foundation works with larger donors to create what organizers call "a challenge match fund." This year, that amount came to more than $37,000. This base amount is then used to match smaller donations given in neighborhood and valleywide drives. This summer, events such as the Amazing Raise half-marathon and community party pulled in more than $34,000.
The OVCF is seeking eligible Ogden Valley nonprofit groups to apply for the 2013 drive. It's also looking for "challenge donors" for the match fund. Challenge donors, said Patton, "provide matching funds to all donations and create great incentive and motivation."
She said it's a great way for Utah residents and out-of-staters who appreciate the valley to help maintain its unique and rustic character.
For more information on the OVCF, see www.amazingraise.com.