Chris 23 Cropped

About the FoundationHonoring an Adventurous Spirit

In memory of their son and brother following a tragic accident, Kendall and Sherry Mikesell and their daughters, Laura and Julie, launched the Chris Mikesell Foundation on November 18, 2008. Since that time, the Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 in grants. 

  • Mission

    To honor Chris’ adventurous spirit, passion for travel, and love of people, the Foundation supports organizations that fit into four key areas of focus:

    • Opportunities for young people to experience nature
    • Assistance to organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting the environment’s natural beauty
    • Scholarships at Western Colorado University, Chris’ alma mater
    • Assistance to people in desperate need around the world

Foundation History

  • History Foundation Inspiration Chris Mikesell Foundation

    The Inspiration

    Born February 17, 1983, in Wichita, Kan., Christopher Keith Mikesell grew up in Clearwater, Kan., where his parents still reside. He developed a sense of wonder that led him around the world, forming lasting friendships wherever he went. He lived in Crested Butte, Colo., from 2002 until he was tragically killed on January 21, 2007, at the age of 23, the result of a Sno-Cat accident on the mountain he loved.

  • Chris Mikesell Foundation Brand

    Foundation Brand

    When creating the Foundation and developing concepts for a logo to represent it, the focus was on keeping Chris’ memory alive and honoring him by supporting causes that he was passionate about during his life. Chris packed more adventure into 23 years than most people do in a lifetime, and Wichita, Kan., area branding agency Jajo was tasked with capturing that spirit. Featuring Mount Crested Butte and Teocalli Mountain along with the powerful rapids of the Taylor River, the award-winning logo is a nod to his love for the outdoors and the Foundation’s overarching theme – to help people enjoy the journey in life, to climb the mountain, and see the view.

  • History Initial Funding Chris Mikesell Foundation

    Initial Funding

    Initial funding of the Foundation was provided by the Kendall Mikesell family. In addition, a significant contribution was made by the Tim Mueller family, owners of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. “We are pleased that the Mueller family has chosen to participate in our efforts to honor Chris. This gracious gesture on their part helps in the ongoing healing process for his family and friends, and the communities he called home,” Kendall said.

  • History Foundation Leadership Chris Mikesell Foundation

    Foundation Leadership

    Kendall, Sherry, Laura, and Julie are the officers and directors of the Foundation. Bill McVey serves as the chief financial officer.

Lifetime of Adventures

Our Foundation at Work

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Chris Mikesell Foundation Western State University Wilderness Pursuits Kayaking
Funded Projects

Students Build Friendships, Explore Colorado

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Chris Mikesell Foundation Barlett Arboretum October 2018
Funded Projects

Botanical gardens preserve nature’s beauty at the Bartlett Arboretum

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Chris Mikesell Foundation Gunsight Bridge
Funded Projects

Work begins on Gunsight Bridge in Crested Butte

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Help change lives and preserve the environment while honoring Chris’ memory.

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