Buddies benefit again

Dear Editor:The Buddy Program would like to offer a heartfelt thank-you to each and every person who helped us make a difference in the lives of the children of our valley by participating in two important community events last week – Boogie’s Diner Buddy 5 Mile Race and Boogie’s Bash for the Buddies. The race and gala are the greatest fundraisers for The Buddy Program and together bring in over 85 percent of our yearly budget.The Buddy Program serves over 350 Buddy pairs throughout the year. Together with the scholarships, case management and counseling services that we offer, we can reach over 1,000 people in our community through the generous support of our patrons and volunteers. The funding from the events last week allows us to grow our programs in quantity and in quality. Last year, we introduced a new Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program in the Aspen and Basalt schools, and we will now be able to continue expanding the numbers and services of this program, as well as the traditional community and school-based programs, for the upcoming year.So many volunteers help make a difference at The Buddy Program during these events and throughout the year and support our mission of connecting mentors and youth to enrich their lives. To our event coordinators and volunteers, Big Buddies, board members, National Council donors, restaurant sponsors, race and gala sponsors, and gala and race participants: Your dedication and energy means so much to us. Without all of you, we would not be able to serve the children of our community. Thank you!It should certainly be noted that Lenny “Boogie” Weinglass has dedicated many hours, as always, to singlehandedly sell almost every gala ticket this year. Almost effortlessly, Boogie sells out the gala because people know how passionate he is about making a difference in a child’s life and what that difference can mean to the child, his or her family, and, in fact, the community as a whole. His unbelievable enthusiasm for the children and families of our program is amazing!We are so truly thankful for all the kind souls and consistent supporters from our community who care about mentoring youth and making a difference in children’s lives.Catherine Anne CouchExecutive director,The Buddy Program, Aspen