Kudos and Kindness | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness

A Project Graduation to remember

Dear Editor:

Huge thanks, Aspen, for a wonderful celebration for our graduates last Saturday night.

Nothing brings out the generous spirit of our small town like Project Graduation. For 25 years now, Aspen has been coming together — parents, business owners, school staff and a plethora of nonprofits — with generous contributions of time and resources to throw one last hurrah for our graduating seniors on their big day of commencement.

Originally started to keep graduates safe on a night sadly marked by accidents among young people across the country, Project Graduation here has become a tradition that inspires us all to honor and give our graduates the ultimate gift — a fun and memorable experience that unites them.

As with every year, the Aspen Club and Spa and Aspen community came through with invaluable donations to make this night a success. The senior parents were outstanding volunteers and provided the majority of the funding. Very special thanks to all who just jumped in and took the bull by the horns — the list runs long! A very special-thank you also to the junior parents for all their help; we could not have done it without you. The Aspen School District and high school staff hosted an unbelievable Senior Week leading up to graduation and as always, provides invaluable support to Project Graduation.

Here’s to our sweet little town and the moments that bring us together!

Sarah Stevens, Gretchen Robinson and Donnie Ryan

Project Graduation 2013

Grateful for caring professionals

Dear Editor:

On May 27, I had a mountain-biking accident on Buttermilk. Words alone cannot describe the feelings of appreciation I have toward Mountain Rescue, the people on the trail who found and stayed with me, the staff at Aspen Valley Hospital, my family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances.

I would not have made it through the past few days without the team effort from everyone. Unfortunately, quite often, it takes something bad to see so much good. I had no idea the quality of care we have right here in our beautiful valley. I had no idea how amazing my family and friends could be when I needed them most.

The Mountain Rescue crew are the true definition of professionals and life-savers. I was in an extremely complicated situation, and their skills in stabilizing, caring for and extracting me were beyond outstanding. They comforted me and cared for me in a way that everyone should know about. Fortunately, I did not lose consciousness, so I was able to see how incredible they are. I will be grateful to them forever.

The staff at Aspen Valley Hospital was equally exceptional. This valley is blessed to have people, facilities and equipment at such a superior level. I was cared for by the kindest and most patient people. The new hospital was the perfect place to be treated and to recover from this horrendous accident. I wish to thank the city of Aspen for this superb facility.

My family and friends, your support and love have gone above and beyond what anyone could ever dream of. I never will be able to thank you enough for the past few days and the next few weeks. I love all of you so much and have acquired a new and enhanced appreciation of life.

Michelle Fox


Cub Scouts plant for the future

Dear Editor:

Aspen Cub Scout Pack 224 recently completed our Spring 2013 Silver Bell Campground tree-planting project. The goal of the project was to plant some much needed trees in a few campsites. The areas where we planted were becoming trodden and barren from high

use. Multiple benefits of the planting have been achieved with the most obvious ones being site beautification, providing more areas of seclusion which will allow for a more enjoyable camping experience, and most importantly helping to re-vegetate areas where high impact usage were causing erosion problems.

The project was a success on all fronts; from the onset of donation requests to the day of the planting. I have to say that I am personally very proud of each and every one of the Cub Scouts. Throughout this process, each of them learned a bit about themselves and fellow Cubs, they learned about the generosity of others and also learned a bit about their surrounding environment and how truly precious it is.

We want to thank and acknowledge all who made this possible. A special thank you to all of our donors and the U.S. Forest Services for their aid in helping us plant the trees. We also want to recognize Colorado Tree Farm for sourcing the trees and say thank you to the Aspen Elks Lodge, who sponsors the Pack. The Elks were instrumental in the reemergence of the Aspen Pack. And a special thanks to the family members and friends who support our Pack throughout the year. The ongoing and future success of the Pack depends upon active participation among the Cubs and parents alike as well as community support. I wish to personally thank everyone for their contributions. I encourage all members of the public, on your next excursion to the Bells, to stop by and see the results the Scouts accomplished.

Greg Balko

Snowmass Village

Aspen Elks are to be commended

Dear Editor:

Aspen Junior Hockey would like to thank the Aspen Elks Lodge #224 officers and members for their generous contribution that make it possible for the 45 kids who rely on our scholarship program to participate in the wonderful sport of hockey.

By providing scholarship funds, we are able to keep these kids in our program who would otherwise be unable to play because of financial difficulties. Years ago, the Aspen Elks recognized the value that kids playing sports brings to our community. The bonds that are built on the playing fields and skating rinks last a lifetime; and the volunteer efforts made by coaches, parents, family members and friends build a stronger community for us all. Many of our adult coaches today were Aspen Junior Hockey players 10 and 20 years ago.

The role the Aspen Elks play in supporting the youth groups in the Roaring Fork Valley oftentimes may go unnoticed by some who live here. For those of us who volunteer to keep organizations like Aspen Junior Hockey going, the contributions made by the Elks year in and year out have an enormous effect on the success of our program.

On behalf of all of our kids, thanks again, Aspen Elks Lodge #224, for all that you do for our community. You are one of the reasons why Aspen is such a great place to live.

Jackie Ayers

Administrative assistant, Aspen Junior Hockey

Basalt Rec gives thanks

Dear Editor:

Basalt Recreation Department would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Aspen Elks Lodge for their generous contribution to our programs. It is the goal of Basalt Recreation and Aspen Elks to assure a child’s participation in our programs regardless of financial limitations. With their help we can provide financial aid to the youth of our community so they can participate in diverse and healthy activities.

Their contribution also allows us to partner with local sports clubs to help create sports opportunities for the valley’s youth. We have been sponsoring a local tennis club for middle school and high school students. This summer they will compete in league tournaments through the Junior Team Tennis.

Basalt Recreation and our participants appreciate the dedication of the Aspen Elks Lodge to the youth of our valley. Partnering with Aspen Elks we can score winning goals for our youth!

Dorothy Howard

Basalt Recreation Department

Getting summer started

Dear Editor:

Thank you to Casa Tua for hosting guests of the Leadership Development Board of the Buddy Program for the annual Fendi Lounge Pre-Party. This annual event raises money for the Buddy Program through the sales of Fendi Lounge tickets; this year the Fendi Lounge takes place at 9:30 p.m. July 5 at the St. Regis, in conjunction with The Bash for the Buddies, which takes place the same day and place starting at 6 p.m. For more information, go to http://www.buddyprogram.org.

The generosity of our community was exemplified by Casa Tua and their excellent staff. A special thanks to Marina Chiasson for making the night a success.

David Cook

President, Buddy Program Leadership Development board

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