Gracias from the Rotary Club | AspenTimes.com

Gracias from the Rotary Club

Dear Editor:

Roaring Fork Rotary/Club Rotario thanks its donors, participants, sponsors, vendors and volunteers for making the 10th annual Festival las Americas our biggest yet! Held on Aug. 26 in Carbondale’s Sopris Park, the event validated the Roaring Fork Valley as “Two Continents, One Community,” by drawing a crowd of 3,000 to raise $15,000 for Colorado Mountain College scholarships and Rotary International’s campaign to end the global scourge of polio.

The charismatic Luis Polar addressed festival history, public service advisories and a robust program of stage acts for the sunny, all-day affair. A Talent Showcase kicked off live music by Los Jefes, Aspen/Santa Fe Baile Folklorico, Intento Musical, Fifty-50 and Sonora Dinamita. Paula Valenti provided a Zumba dance presentation, and those present enjoyed arts and crafts, a beer garden, booths from local businesses and nonprofits, restaurants serving up delicious authentic foods and a well-attended children’s area with activities and games.

Generous sponsors included Alpine Bank, One World Translation, Aspen Real Estate Co., Wells Fargo Bank, the CMC Foundation, the law offices of Jennifer M. Smith P.C., Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the town of Carbondale and the Westin Hotel.

Free publicity was donated by El Montanes, KMTS Radio, KUUR Radio, Radio TriColor and TV Aspen.

Volunteer turnout was just off the charts, thanks to Elide Andrade, Maritza Araiza, Nohemi Arredondo, Martha Delgado, Gethze Dominguez, Estrella and Meztly Esparza, Pablo, Rodolfo, Veronica and Viviana Espino, Yesenia Flores, Ana Gallardo, Ana and Consuelo Gaytan, Fabiola Grajales, Jesus Martinez, Kenia Pinela, Vanessa Porras, Joey Sism, Josee Turbin and Lucy Uribe. Anibal Guevara (electricity), David and Alyssa Reindel (recycling), A-1 Traffic Control and Orrison Distributing played key roles, performers gifted their acts to charity, and donors gave nearly $4,000 in awards for the drawing.

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Michael Carter was named 2012 Rotarian of the Year, and I was honored to award Club Rotario’s 2012 Jackie Morales Distinguished Awards for Community Service to Nohemi Arredondo (student), Leslie Emerson (educator), Tony Mendez (volunteer) and George Stranahan (professional) for leadership toward immigrant integration and community.

All those in attendance should take pride in helping to achieve the dreams of an emerging Roaring Fork Valley generation in the spirit of multicultural civility and harmony. Club Rotario appreciates your continuing patronage and eagerly anticipates many, many festivals to come!

Jim Coombs

Chairman, Public Relations Committee

Roaring Fork Rotary/Club Rotario

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