Donor gives funds to six local groups |

Donor gives funds to six local groups

An anonymous local donor has contributed nearly $15,000 to a half-dozen local nonprofit organizations as his way of defraying the costs run up by local cops to protect President Bill Clinton.

Sheriff Bob Braudis on Thursday confirmed that the donor, a Democrat who preferred not to be identified publicly, has written checks to six organizations.

The organizations are: Challenge Aspen; Aspen Counseling Center; Mountain Rescue Aspen; GrassRoots Television; Roaring Fork Legal Services; and the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation.

Braudis said the checks were sent to the organizations, rather than the sheriff’s office, because they are nonprofit groups that regularly receive government support.

The anonymous contribution was arranged to make up for money the groups might have received from the government if it hadn’t been spent to protect Clinton during his visit here on July 24. The use of local taxpayers’ money to pay those costs has been controversial.

The money, Braudis said, represented the “hard costs” incurred by local cops – “food, batteries, some radio equipment, supplies, silk screening of some T-shirts we gave to the volunteers, that kind of thing.”

He said officials are still working on determining the “soft costs” of the weekend. Salaries, including overtime, make up most of those costs, although numerous officers were said to be working without pay to keep the costs down.

“I think it’s a very classy way of saying, `Hey, here’s what we can do’ ” to solve a community dilemma, Braudis said. “And I do feel good about the fact that the donor is a local, and the six beneficiaries are all local.”

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