Kudos and Kindness | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness

A hundred yards of thanks

My name is Dillon, and I am currently playing Three Rivers Youth Football. I play on Aspen’s fifth- and sixth-grade Team No. 2. I am writing to thank everyone who has made this possible.

First, I would like to thank Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224 for being our longtime sponsor. Thank you to Ron “Stump” Morehead for coordinating the entire league for us.

I also want to thank the Parks Department, the Aspen Recreation Department and Carol Sams, the high school’s athletic director, for allowing us to use their fields and for all their support. Last but not least, thanks to our awesome coaches: Mr. Ward, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Miller, Mr. Passero and my wonderful dad, Mr. Hendrickson.

Football is my favorite sport, and I am fortunate to be able to play. Someday I hope to become a NFL player.

Dillon Hendrickson


Teamwork makes the dream work

Over the past three weeks, I have watched our son Henry and a group of excited Aspen third- and fourth-grade boys become a football team. Most of the kids had never played on a team, didn’t know the rules or the positions and had no perspective on the dynamics of the game from play to play.

It has truly been a thrill for all of us as parents to watch our boys have fun, build confidence and learn football skills through warm, constructive, positive, spirited practices and games that have good sportsmanship as a common denominator.

Ron Morehead has done a great job of organizing things, and our head coach, Reid Fogler, along with coaches Mark Williams, Mike Thomas, Dave Clark and Mike Gurtman, give so much of themselves to our kids, as has Sarah Xorpola, our team “secretary.”

When the program started, in fact, practices were every day for almost two hours to get the kids “over the hump,” which took a tremendous amount of dedication from our coaching staff. These men are all gentle and compassionate, wise in the ways of football and even wiser in knowing how to motivate the kids positively while creating tremendous team camaraderie and commitment.

All of this is made possible by the sponsorship of EIks Lodge No. 224. Not only do our kids have first-class, safe equipment, but they are participants in a program that is deeply fulfilling and creating friendships, teaching skills and sportsmanship, and building the inner confidence that will serve our children in all they do. This is special for our children and also for all of us as parents as we watch in awe as each game and practice unfolds, observing the beauty of what is being shared with our kids.

Yes, it’s football, but it has been handled with remarkable grace and awareness. It has become one of those experiences which continuously brings tears to the eyes of many of us, as we see our children and a team making huge leaps in both football skills and life skills, every day the kids are together.

On behalf of all parents, in recognition of those who have made this possible, in honor of our kids who have accomplished so much, and with the deepest appreciation.

Wende Cohen and Rick Levin


Thanks from the Thrift Shop

Every month, members of the Thrift Shop of Aspen meet to continue to accomplish our mission: to make grants to other nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are grateful to all the community members who continue to support our efforts by donating and purchasing gently used clothing and household items.

For the month of September we are pleased to announce the following recipients: Pitkin County Human Services-Adult and Family Services, Child Welfare, Growing Years Pre-School, KDNK, Ross Montessori School, the Advocate Safehouse Project, Solar Energy International Colorado, Colorado Western Slope College Fair, Theater Masters, Raising a Reader, Seniors Independent, Basalt High School musical, Carbondale Community School, Marshall Direct Fund and Mount Sopris Montessori School.

Ellen Walbert

PR committee, Thrift Shop of Aspen

More football thanks

My name is Jeremiah Swenson, and I play on the third- and fourth-grade team for Three Rivers Football. My family and I would like to thank a number of people who have helped to make it possible.

We would like to thank the Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224 for being our sponsor and the Aspen School District for allowing us to use their athletic fields.

Thank you to Ron “Stump” Morehead for coordinating the league for us and to all the amazing coaches — without them, none of this would be possible!

Football has been so much fun, and I feel lucky to be a part of this league.

Jeremiah Swenson


Rotarians rock

Thank you, Glenwood Noon Rotary, for helping YouthZone kick off our annual Kiss N’ Squeal fundraiser. The members of the Rotary club plan, buy, set up, prepare and clean up without asking us to lift a finger.

On Sept. 12 at Sayer Park, these fine Rotarians fed more than 200 people, and we thank you. Rotarians from Aspen to Parachute are huge supporters of YouthZone, and we could not do what we do with families without their support.

So thank a Rotarian this week from all of us at YouthZone!

Lori Mueller



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