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Keeping the dream alive

Dear Editor:Thank you for keeping the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. alive through your support of Aspen Youth Experience (AYE) formerly A Grassroots Aspen Experience. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for your continued and long-term support of AYEThis past week I had the opportunity to spend several days visiting the community and the AYE program. What I experienced brought a tremendous amount of joy to my heart. As the founder of the organization I am proud to see how AYE has grown and continues to have a positive impact on the lives of its young participants.Rarely in a person’s life does one get the opportunity to witness a dream grow to fruition, and I am deeply honored and moved by how the AYE has taken shape and moved in a prosperous direction.On Friday, I skied with some of the youth in Snowmass and witnessed firsthand how their lives continue to be transformed in a positive manner by coming to Aspen/Snowmass to ski and snowboard. In so many ways, the mountains of Aspen that they have individually conquered this past week are inextricably related to the mountains of life and the many challenges that they face in their home communities. While riding the lift chair, I contemplated the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for a better America and the vision I had nearly 16 years ago to bring underprivileged teens to Aspen, Colo. for a life-altering experience.Through your support of this wonderful program, you are living the dreams, hopes and aspirations of MLK. These young people get hope put back in their lives. What I am proud of the most is that over the past seven years AYE has provided more than $480,000 in educational scholarships for youth participants and has expanded outreach programs to at-risk teens in the Roaring Fork Valley.In MLK’s infamous “I Have A Dream” speech, he said, “I have a dream that all God’s children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by …” I further reflected last Friday, while in your beautiful community amongst snowcapped Rockies, about how proud and appreciative I am that you have answered many prayers for our children. Thanks to all for keeping this dream alive. Thank you.John A. ReidDenver


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