GrassRoots TV gears up for fall fund drive |

GrassRoots TV gears up for fall fund drive

Naomi Havlen

A high-energy ski and snowboard film and some brand-new programs kick off GrassRoots TV’s annual fall fund drive.”Soul Purpose,” the latest Teton Gravity Research Film will show twice tomorrow night at the Wheeler Opera House, with Carbondale resident and U.S. Ski Team member Peter Olenick on hand to sign autographs. Presenting your ticket stub and a valid ID will get you a free Budweiser at McStorlie’s Pub after the movie. It’s a new, younger twist on fund raising for the local cable television station, which discovered just last fall that their fund-raising efforts actually lost money rather than earning it. In fall 2003, the station put together 15 different programs focusing on the Roaring Fork Valley community. While the shows were acclaimed by a large number of people, they didn’t seem to get the message across about making pledges to support GrassRoots TV.”One of our challenges is that people take television for granted,” said GrassRoots TV Executive Director John Masters. “TV is free, or you pay for the cable company. But that’s not funding for community television – there’s a disconnect there. We’re not funded by the cable company, by the feds, or the state. It’s up to the community to decide if we’re an important asset or not.”The vast majority of the station’s funding comes from underwriters for various shows. GrassRoots’ goal for this fall’s fund drive is $30,000, or 7.5 percent of its annual budget.And rather than put on expensive fund-raisers, station officials have decided to concentrate on low-cost efforts, like the movie and launching a new set of programs. In between the new shows, the station will feature short pitches from community members about supporting GrassRoots TV.The new shows include a wild mix of topics, such as “The Whole Animal,” from local animal activist Alicia Evans; “Food, Music and Friends,” featuring gourmet food and funky grooves from local chef and caterer Randy Placeres; and “Road Stories with the Sofa Kings,” from local Harley enthusiast EJ Maret.Two Aspen High students will have their own show about life in high school, “God’s Health Plan” is a show by Bob Porter about Christian health, and Marissa Post and Jeannie Walla will host a program called “Roaring Fork Magazine.””We hope everyone enjoys watching these new shows, and thinks about helping support them with underwriting,” Masters said.Also on tap for GrassRoots’ fall fund drive is an exhibit at the Isberian Rug Company, 520 E. Hyman in Aspen. “The Hooked Rug” features America’s historic cottage weaving with 120 hooked rugs circa 1850 to 1950; a large percentage of proceeds from the exhibit will be donated to GrassRoots. The opening reception for “The Hooked Rug” is Dec. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m.; the exhibit continues through Jan. 10, 2005.For more information on the GrassRoots TV annual fund drive, visit the station’s website at Havlen’s e-mail address is

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