Aspen School District thanks volunteers
Volunteers are the silver bullets of this school district, Aspen High School college counselor Kathy Klug said to about 30 people at the schools’ first ever “volunteer brunch” Tuesday morning.
As a way to thank its volunteers’ district-wide, Aspen School District Secretary to the board of education Angela Rittenhouse invited volunteers from lists that the elementary, middle and high schools staff compiled.
About 20 volunteers, along with the four board of education members and other district administrators, attended the brunch in the high school skier dome Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m.
“We just want to let you know we are truly appreciative of the time you spent with our kids,” Aspen School District Superintendent John Maloy said. “You play an extremely vital role in enriching the lives of our kids.”
After the superintendent’s recognition, each volunteer stood up, introduced themselves and briefly mentioned their involvement with the schools.
Most of the volunteers present helped in several capacities throughout the district — some read to young children each week through the elementary school’s “Read With Me” program, while others played important roles with the Booster Club, the group that helps raise money for and support the high school’s athletic program.
Aspen School District athletic director Jay Maher said the Booster Club, whose volunteers help with everything from organizing events to handling equipment, is “the only reason” he survives.
“They know they are what hold me up,” Maher said as he thanked the volunteers.
Many volunteers at the brunch were also heavily involved with the high school’s college counseling events, such as the College Next Symposium and the Colorado Western Slope College Fair.
The college fair, which started as an Aspen volunteer initiative 12 years ago, requires 150 volunteers alone, Klug said.
Other volunteers said they helped cook, delivered cookies and performed odd jobs throughout the schools.
At the brunch, Klug also acknowledged parent volunteer Vivian Blizzard for “a decade of volunteerism” to Aspen School District.
Along with helping at the college fair and serving as a Booster Club board member, Blizzard has played a role in nearly every facet of her daughter Nicole’s elementary, middle and high school experiences — from timing athletic events to making goodie bags for her teammates to curling the dance team’s hair.
“My entire life was her life,” Blizzard said of Nicole, who graduated Saturday and will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall.
Klug described Blizzard as “willing, selfless and cheerful,” as she presented her with a plaque and bouquet of flowers.
“There’s nothing she hasn’t done and she deserves volunteer of the decade,” Klug said.
As she accepted her award, Blizzard said she “would do it all over again” if she could.
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Volunteers are being sought by the city and county to serve on the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority board. Over a dozen people have applied so far and today is the deadline.