Kudos and Kindness (Aug. 11)

Thanks, Aspen Speedos

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to the Aspen Swim Club for a successful long-course season! We have a second home in the valley, and our two girls, who are year-round league swimmers, have trained with the Speedos over the past three summers. The head coach, Gordon Gerson, and his coaching staff are exceptional. Further, we participated in the Montrose Invite this summer, and the Aspen Speedos team and parents were more than welcoming. The Aspen area is very fortunate to have such a top-notch youth swim league. Here’s to a great short-course season, Aspen Speedos!

Laura Winjum


Great effort for wetland creation

Dear Editor:

The Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers extend a big thank-you to the city of Aspen Parks Department and all the volunteers who showed up Saturday to create the new wetland below Rio Grande Park.

The Parks Department went all out to get this project ready in time to have the volunteers put the plants in the ground to complete the project. This project was a great community event with 51 volunteers of all ages from 3 and 83.

The new wetland will have important long-term value as the final filter of storm and street runoff before it reaches the Roaring Fork River and in providing important wildlife habitat in town.

We also want to acknowledge the Roaring Fork Conservancy for being a project partner and several local businesses that contributed to the project including Clark’s Market, the Grog Shop and Louis Swiss Bakery. Thanks again to everyone for a great volunteer project!

David Hamilton

Executive director, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers

City thanks its lifeguards

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Recreation Center and the city of Aspen want to congratulate our lifeguards, who won second place this month at the Western Slope Lifeguard Games, hosted by the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association in Grand Junction.

Our lifeguards work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that our swimmers have a safe and enjoyable experience at our facility. We are proud to see their on the job skills, dedication and hard work translated to this victory. The Lifeguard Games feature sprints, CPR competitions, tug-of-war, multivictim rescue and a medley relay in which each member swims a length of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Each of these events is scored or timed, and teams are awarded overall points. In addition to our second place all around, there was a fastest-lifeguard competition in which swimmers complete one length with a rescue tube under their chest. Aspen’s own Kelcie Gerson took first, and Claire Collier took second in the women’s competition. Aspen’s lifeguard team consisted of David Horstmann, Kaitlin Gerson, Claire Collier, Skylar Maclean, Kelcie Gerson and Sophie Ledingham. We are proud of the strength and commitment of our lifeguards and hope you come by the Aspen Recreation Center to enjoy our facilities and congratulate our team.

Erin Hutchings

Recreation operations manager, Aspen Recreation Center

‘Les Mis’ is top-notch

Dear Editor:

The performance of “Les Miseréable” by Theatre Aspen is simply outstanding. The sets, the lighting, the acting, the music the sound quality — phenomenal. Wow! The talent in this

town — and that of visiting talent — of all ages. We are so blessed to have this in our backyard.

Thank you.

Cindy Madsen Buck


Thanks for aiding mountain biker

Dear Editor:

This is a very special thank you to Vail Mountain Rescue, the Chris Brown and Dale Abbott families and Mystery Mark, who helped with the Flight for Life rescue of John Baker on the afternoon of Aug. 3 in the Flat Tops.

John fractured two vertebrae in his neck following a very dramatic fall from his mountain bike. The Abbot and Brown families came upon the scene shortly after the accident in their four-wheelers. After I went for help, they literally took the clothes off their backs to shelter the Lycra-clad John from the rain- and hailstorms as he lay on the rocky road where he fell. They saved John from hypothermia and allowed him to remain immobilized. As we suspected, it was later found out that it was critical that he was not moved. They also helped evacuate me and my wife, Liz, after a very ill-timed flat tire in the rain, mud and darkness.

Thanks to Mystery Mark, who had the presence of mind to get the GPS coordinates of John’s inert body before rushing down the mountain to alert Vail Mountain Rescue. Apparently, Special Forces trained him well.

Vail Mountain Rescue was awesome. They had a chopper at the scene within minutes of the call and had John on a backboard on his way to Valley View Hospital shortly thereafter. They demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism and courtesy in the process.

John was operated on Sunday morning. He was told he came close to severing his spinal cord. The surgeon fused two vertebrae and he hopes to be released soon. Hopefully, before too long, we again will see John, with his perpetual grin, defying his age and common sense seeking adventure in the mountains.

We live in a beautiful area with beautiful people!

Bill Phillips

Glenwood Springs