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Steamboat Springs honors local Nick Simon with creation of NICK WOULD Foundation Endowment Fund

A mountain town in Colorado is the base for a new endowment fund helping people get outside, preserve the environment, and pursue artistic development by removing barriers and making these activities accessible to all.

Created in honor of Steamboat Springs local Nick Simon, who passed away at age 25 last fall in a tragic car accident while on a surfing trip in New Zealand, the NICK WOULD Foundation is a donor-advised fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, with all annual donations merit-based and targeted around expanding access to outdoor pursuits, wildland exploration, and artistic development to those who otherwise might not experience these activities for physical, cognitive, or economic reasons.

Nick Simon, who passed away Oct. 27 at age 25, was passionate about each of these activities. “It’s the fund’s intention to help spread these experiences to honor Nick’s legacy,” says Nick’s father and the fund’s board president, Dan Simon. “Nick loved to share his excitement and stoke for the outdoors and the arts with anyone who joined in these pursuits, and this will help spread this stoke for thousands of people into the future.”

Grants bequeathed in 2023 include $3,500 to Friends of the Yampa (supporting scholarships for Youth River Camps); $2,500 to Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (joining an additional $15,000 raised through fundraising); $9,000 to the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series; $4,000 to California’s Windansea Surf Club/Me Water Foundation (teaching youth and those with physical disabilities how to surf); and $3,000 to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (funding athlete participation). Plans in 2024 also include funding a ski video competition for aspiring filmmakers.

Nick lived his 25 years as fully as anyone, squeezing the nectar out of every day and changing the world by inspiring all who had the privilege of sharing in his energetic orbit. An old soul with a special, golden spirit, his love, warmth, humor, and zest for life was infectious and intoxicating to be around. Born and raised in Steamboat, Nick embodied everything that makes his hometown special. A hockey player and Alpine racer with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, he progressed to freestyle and big mountain skiing, competing on the Big Mountain Tour for several seasons. Never missing an opportunity to be outside, he was also an accomplished surfer, mountain biker, rock climber, fly fisherman and kayaker, completing a three-month NOLS trip in the Himalayas, backpacking trip through Europe, commercial fishing stint in Alaska, solo bike-packing trip on the Colorado Trail, and more. He was also a highly gifted musician and songwriter, with more than 50 of his songs discovered after his death. But the thing he did best was love.

“The concept of NICK WOULD is much more than approaching life boldly,” Dan says. “It means Nick gave us all lessons in life that we should take away. He wasn’t just a great athlete with an appetite for adrenaline; he was also a talented musician with a sensitive and caring heart. He was always the first one to offer a helping hand, which is what we’re doing with this foundation, a vehicle to share his legacy for generations to come.”

Sell your bitcoin, bet on the Nuggets or cash out in real estate at the right time? To make a tax-deductible donation (and subscribe to the foundation’s free newsletter) visit (or donate here); or send check (memo: “NICK WOULD Foundation”) to Yampa Valley Community Foundation (a 501c-3), PO Box 881869, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487. Have an idea for a program to fund? Email ideas to

About the NICK WOULD Foundation
Established to share opportunities to experience the thrill of outdoor sport, wild land exploration and artistic development by removing barriers and making these activities accessible to all, the NICK WOULD Foundation is a Donor Advised Fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, a 501c3 organization. EIN #84-0794536. NICK WOULD Foundation board members include: Dan Simon, Sarah Simon, Natalie Simon, Matthew White, Scott Dietrich, JV Vanderbeek, Brooke Buchanan, Jack Craig, and Nathan Brickman. Learn more/donate at or

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