Give Back Tahoe: The Shane McConkey Foundation |

Give Back Tahoe: The Shane McConkey Foundation

Special to the Sun

Sierra Expeditionary Learning School was a recent recipient of funds from the Shane McConkey Foundation.

Since its inception in 2011, the Shane McConkey Foundation (SMF) has donated nearly $300,000 to causes that inspire positive change in and around Lake Tahoe.

A primary goal of SMF is to educate youth about environmental stewardship through the Shane McConkey Eco Challenge. The Challenge invites school-aged children to identify a problem that contributes to global warming and, through critical thinking and problem solving, take action towards solutions. Winning teams are awarded up to $6,000 for environmental education and eco-friendly infrastructure on their campuses.

"It's amazing to see what these kids are capable of doing," says SMF founder Sherry McConkey. "They are making a tangible impact in their classrooms, their communities and for our World. We've seen schools install low-flow toilets, integrate composting and reusable lunch trays in the lunchroom. And we credit the kids for making it happen."

The Foundation is currently seeking sponsors to help fund the continued success and growth of the Eco Challenge. Another program, Randomly Awesome Deeds (R.A.D.), is committed to random acts of kindness with the goal of promoting a pay-it-forward community mentality.

"Being an awesome athlete or 'cool' doesn't make someone 'rad,'" says McConkey. "It's all about being a kind person and giving back: buy a stranger a cup of coffee, volunteer your time, do something selfless."

SMF has also worked closely with the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District on projects such as Kings Beach Elementary's solar panels, reusable lunch trays and composting bins at Truckee Elementary, and promotion of eco-friendly initiatives.

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SMF has donated to causes such as: the Truckee Pool, Truckee Bike Park, Sierra Avalanche Center, and the local Make-A-Wish chapter.

Visit to get involved with the Shane McConkey Eco Challenge.