50th Anniversary Capital Campaign


H. Ross Perot, Jr., Sarah Fullinwider Perot, Margot Perot, H. Ross Perot. Photo courtesy www.smu.edu

Major gifts totaling $500,000 enhance Chapel’s fundraising effort

July 14, 2021  –  Vail, CO  – The Perot Foundation and the Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation donated $250,000 each to the Vail Interfaith Chapel’s $10 million Capital Campaign, bringing the total raised in Phase 1 of the campaign to $3.8 million. 

 Ross Perot and his wife Margot have a long history in Vail, having purchased their home in the mid-1970s.  Ross, who died in 2019, and Margot spent the past several decades enjoying time in Vail with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

 “This gift to the Chapel is part of Ross’ legacy,” said Margot. “We chose Vail because of our love of skiing, the outdoors and the beauty of the mountains. We also made some wonderful friends early on. As a center of the community’s spirituality and history, we felt retaining the Chapel for years to come is very important. We hope this inspires others to do the same.”

“The Chapel is at the heart of what makes this such a special community,” said Sarah Perot, President of the Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation. “It has been important to our family for many years and it’s revitalization is essential for the town.”

Projects completed in Phase 1 included much-needed roof replacement and solar panel installation. Phase 2 takes place this fall and includes additional window replacements, the east parking lot repaving and snow melt, sidewalk reconfiguration and snow melt and Chapel elevator replacement. 

In 2022, work will focus on renovating the entry circle and stairs, improving creek side spaces, window replacement, replacing original electrical and heating systems, ADA access, and other interior remodeling to update fixtures.   

“The Vail Religious Foundation is sincerely grateful for the Perot family’s gifts,” said Pastor Tim Wilbanks, Vail Religious Foundation President. “Their support is critical to the momentum of the campaign as we kick off Phase 2. These buildings have to be renovated or we risk losing the heart of the Vail community.”

For more information or to support the Vail Interfaith Chapel today, call (970) 476-3347.
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Hazel Miller has earned several awards for artistic excellence including Best Independent Blues-R&B Recording in 2002 and Outstanding Performer at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

July 10 2021 – Vail CO – Special to the Vail Daily

The Vail Religious Foundation announced Friday that the Hazel Miller Quartet is the special guest entertainment at its first fundraising event, “Embracing Our Community – A Joyful Evening to Benefit the Vail Interfaith Chapel” on July 22 at Donovan Pavilion. Presented by Alpine Bank, Miller and Tony Gulizia will entertain 170 guests throughout the evening.

“We are so excited to welcome Hazel and are grateful for her contribution to this premier event for the Chapel,” Vail Religious Foundation President Tim Wilbanks said. “She is amazingly talented and energetic. We thank her and Alpine Bank for helping us present someone of her caliber for this exciting evening.”

A Kentucky native, Miller lived in Los Angeles before permanently moving to Denver in 1984. She specializes in soul, pop, blues and jazz. Most recently she opened for Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Red Rocks Amphitheater on June 18.




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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

by Nate Peterson, Editor


VAIL — The Vail Interfaith Chapel needs a new roof in a bad way. Considering all of the different congregations and community organizations that come together under that one roof, the need is great.

On Monday, leaders of the six congregations that share the chapel, along with an array of town officials, donors and community members, came together at the front steps of the Vail landmark to officially kick off the first phase of a $7 million renovation project.

Speeches were made and gold shovels were plunged into the ground to launch a years-long facelift of the iconic building.

“Thank you for getting us here today,” said the Rev. Tim Wilbanks, who is the board president for the Vail Religious Foundation and the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church. “This is a place for the community to become better. It’s not about individuals, it’s about our community.”

The Vail Religious Foundation has already collected more than $3 million of the $10 million goal it set for a capital fundraising campaign that launched last year. That money should cover the first phase of the project, which includes replacing the wood shake roof on the 52-year-old structure, replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones, replacing parking lots, replacing the building’s elevator and installing solar panels. Construction will commence this spring and continue into the fall.




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Published in the Vail Daily on February 11, 2021

by Scott Miller

Raising money for good causes comes with a good bit of waiting, nervousness and moments of exhilaration. The campaign for the Vail Interfaith Chapel recently had one of those exhilarating moments.

The committee running the chapel’s current $10 million fundraising campaign announced this week that longtime residents Betsy and George Wiegers had given a $1 million gift to the campaign.

“This is huge. This one donation is 10% of our goal,” said Rev. Tim Wilbanks, who is the president of the chapel’s board of directors.

Rev. Carl Walker, a member of the chapel’s fundraising committee, said he was “overwhelmed” by the donation. “Now we’re on our way,” he added.

The Weigers’ donation brings the total amount raised so far to $2.1 million.


Photo by Holly Cole

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Published in the Vail Daily on January 20, 2021

Pastor Tim Wilbanks, President of the Vail Religious Foundation, announced this morning the members of the volunteer advisory committee that will steer fundraising efforts related to the Vail Interfaith Chapel’s $10 million 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign.  “This 11-member committee is a strong force in support of restoring and maintaining our beloved Chapel, one of Vail’s cultural and historic centers,” said Wilbanks.  “We are so grateful for their support, not only financially but with their time and energy over these next two years.”

Vail Pioneer Rod Slifer was one of the first to volunteer to help the Chapel in these efforts.  Slifer, also one of the Chapel’s founders, is uniquely qualified to help because he brokered the land deal in the late 1960s when the original Chapel building was built.


Online Version in the Vail Daily

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Published Sunday, January 17, 2021 in the Vail Daily

by Father Brooks Keith of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration


Spectacular orchestral music lifting the vaulted wooden ceiling.  An intimate moment Gore Creek-side as a younger (and sometime not-exactly-younger) couple sit snuggled together to mark an anniversary, or schedule one!  Incisive, provocative fora on super-intellectual subjects with attendees like me occasionally nod my head thoughtfully while furtively web search vocabulary on my hidden cell phone.  Exhausted, overwrought stranded travelers morphing into overnight refugees seeking a warm bed and safe shelter when I-70 is closed or wildfires threaten.  Individuals, couples and families walking into the sanctuary and sitting down…for awhile, reflecting upon private thoughts which inevitably arise when confronted with the majesty of our Rocky Mountains.  Dear friends and complete strangers moving regularly in and out seeking recovery, personal solace and honest support.  Where in our resort town do all these moments happen quite regularly you wonder?!


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Vail Daily – January 3, 2021 | by Scott Miller

Chapels and churches almost everywhere serve purposes beyond ministering to the faithful. That’s particularly true in Vail, where one chapel serves many congregations.

Almost since the doors opened in 1969, the chapel has served as a community center for meetings and events, from concerts to weddings to meetings of various 12-step groups. The chapel also serves as a haven for travelers stranded when Interstate 70 is closed over Vail Pass.

When work starts in April of 2021 on putting a new roof on the chapel and repaving the parking lot — the first part of a $10 million capital campaign — that work will be done around the myriad community groups that use the chapel.

“We have more community events than religious events,” said the Rev. Tim Wilbanks, the president of the Vail Religious Foundation Board of Directors and the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, which uses the chapel. Wilbanks said the religious foundation has already been in talks with Beck Building Company to ensure that work is done without disturbing the many groups that use the chapel.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the biggest chapel users, with between 14 and 18 meetings every week, Wilbanks said. The chapel also hosts bridge and mahjong players. The Vail Symposium hosts several sessions per year at the chapel.

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On Monday, December 1, 2020, we were honored to the core when all of the members of the Vail Town Council were present when Mayor Dave Chapin read and issued Proclamation No. 9, which recognizes the Vail Interfaith Chapel as a Vail Historic and Cultural Center. Read the full proclamation:


Recognizing Vail Interfaith Chapel

as a Vail Historic and Cultural Center


WHEREAS, the Vail Religious Foundation was organized as a nonprofit entity in the State of Colorado by Richard M. Dobson, John V. Amato and Mrs. Keith L. Brown on November 12, 1965 for the purpose of building and maintaining an interfaith chapel to be used by several faiths as a house of worship; and


WHEREAS, the Vail Interfaith Chapel was built and dedicated on November 28, 1969 by the Reverend Don Simonton and the land on which the Vail Interfaith Chapel was built was generously gifted to the Vail Religious Foundation by Vail Associates on August 24, 1973; and


WHEREAS, in its first 30 years, the Vail Interfaith Chapel was the center of town situated in between Vail Village and Lionshead, allowing people of all faiths to worship, hold weddings, funerals, births and memorials, and enter its doors for private prayer and solace, city and county meetings, Sunday school, and social gatherings; and


WHEREAS, as the community expanded between 1969 and 1999, so did use of the Vail Interfaith Chapel, which needed and received renovations in 2000, when the site was expanded to include a caretaker’s unit and the Ministry Building; and


WHEREAS, the use of these buildings again grew over the next 20 year and is currently shared by six congregations that uniquely includes both Christian and Jewish faiths, is used as the Town of the Vail’s community center serving those in need of counseling, addiction support, and emergency shelter, and allows the public to enjoy arts and education events, social movement gatherings and more; and


WHEREAS, the citizens of the Town of Vail and the Vail Valley community, including Town of Vail, local organizations and outside entities are endeavoring to preserve and protect buildings and sites in Vail, Colorado which are deemed to have historical and cultural significance; and


WHEREAS, we honor and praise those in faith and those citizens of Vail who began and continue this work, have been deeply committed to the Vail Interfaith Chapel, and who have given so unselfishly during these last 51 years to help it grow and thrive and provide valuable human and cultural services; and


WHEREAS, we recognize that the entire community of Vail has benefitted from the spiritual, humanitarian, artistic and charitable work that the Vail Interfaith Chapel and Ministry Building have been home to through the years, and the many facets of its outreach and spiritual and emotional assistance to our residents and guests; and



WHEREAS, the Vail Interfaith Chapel and Ministry Building serve the whole community to help make Vail a better place to live and grow with your friends and families.


NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Vail Town Council, do hereby promote and proclaim the month of December as VRF Community Service Month, thus embedding the importance of the Vail Religious Foundation and the Vail Interfaith Chapel and Ministry Buildings in Vail’s history and its continuing importance in spiritual health and community service here.


Dated this 1st day of December 1, 2020


Vail Town Council                                                              Attest:


Dave Chapin, Mayor                                                              Tammy Nagel, Town Clerk



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Vail Daily – November 29, 2020 | by Scott Miller

It took a concerted community effort to build the Vail Interfaith Chapel, now 50 years old. It’s going to take a similar effort to keep the chapel vital for the next half-century.

Supporters have launched a $10 million fundraising campaign for the chapel, which includes a lot of immediate work, money for a new roof in a few years and, importantly, a reserve fund.

Katie Campbell, who’s running the campaign, said the reserve fund of $2 million will keep up with maintenance over the next 25 years.

Another $6 million to $7 million will help replace the roof, the current heating system — which is original to the building — and re-pave the parking lot.

The parking lot was re-paved with a snowmelt system during the last renovation in the 1990s. But the snowmelt system failed about seven years ago, and there was no money to replace it. That project will include the parking lot, the walkway and chapel steps. The roof is wooden-shake shingles, and no longer meets town codes. The project also calls for replacing the chapel’s windows, also original to the building.


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