Gondola Giving grew this year, providing food and funds for LiftUp

One of the new tram cabins on the new Glenwood Gondola tram system at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park makes its way up the cable after being newly installed on the line in March 2020.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park almost tripled donation funds in 2022 for its Gondola Giving fundraiser.

“I can’t emphasize enough the support from the community and to see the number of our guests that showed up to support the LiftUp organization,” Caverns Adventure Park General Manager Nancy Heard said.

The Gondola Giving fundraiser ran from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, 2022 and offered a trade of four gondola tickets in exchange for a $25 gift card that gets donated to LiftUp. A single ticket for the gondola ride typically costs $25.

“I thank the community that came together and used us as a vehicle for donating, so that’s what I want to emphasize more than anything, is the community,” Heard said. “The community are the people that bought those gift cards.”

People were encouraged to buy the gift card ahead of time and exchange it at the base of Iron Mountain where the gondola lets off toward the theme park atop Iron Mountain. 

“It’s a wonderful organization for the community that does provide relief from food insecurities and works to end hunger for individuals and families,” Heard said. 

This year they received 714 gift cards valued $25 each, making an overall donation of $17,850. Last year’s drive collected 273 gift cards, receiving $6,835. 

Gondola Giving began in 2020. Before that, the park used to donate to the Turkey Drive for LiftUp. When the pandemic hit, the Turkey Drive was canceled so the Caverns started the Gondola Giving instead. 

Heard said that the park gave away 2,356 free gondola rides, which valued more than $70,000. 

“A win win win,” Heard said. “We win, the guest wins, and LiftUp and the community wins.”

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