Kudos & Kindness: Aspen hockey community shows true colors; come explore AHS; local events get local support | AspenTimes.com

Kudos & Kindness: Aspen hockey community shows true colors; come explore AHS; local events get local support

When nothing else mattered

This is a letter to thank and commend all those in the Aspen hockey community who stepped up to help save one of our own.

It was Friday Night Championship Hockey Night (April 8) at the Aspen Ice Garden with stands full after two successful games. The third period of the third game with 10 minutes remaining in a 1-1 tie; a mid-ice three-man collision with one man down. At first one might think the normal — just the wind knocked out, but no, a serious heart-stopping, no breathing situation. This is where our community stands strong. Our very own scorekeeper Lee Maren happens to be EMT and Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Todaro plus others immediately respond to CPR action. Dr. Giora Hahn along with Paige Shapiro in her socks all in auto emergency response. The fearless leader of the Ice Garden, Thor Knutson, in full sprint with the strategically placed emergency AED, also to the rescue of our beloved Billy Garaffa.

The crowd chanting, “Come on, Billy, breathe!,“ was the beat of the hardworking first responders. All hands on deck escorting arriving emergency responders, police and fire. By the time the ambulance arrived, our good man was breathing, but far from out of the woods. He was transported to the hospital with his beloved Isabella at his side. Here it is the Sunday after and I was able to visit him in good cheer at near tears full of gratitude to our entire tight-knit community. This is what makes me be proud to be a part of the quiet strength of this community. We all can play hockey another day.

R. Drew Sparlin



Take a deep dive at Aspen Historical Society

We enjoyed Tony Vagneur’s column “Where is the understanding in Aspen’s land run?” and appreciate his recommendation of Aspen Historical Society (AHS) as a resource to help the public better understand this community. AHS operates one of the largest public archives on the Western Slope, featuring images, records, maps, and priceless artifacts from every era of the area’s history. The public is invited to use the archives as a resource, to research anything from genealogy to birth certificates to land-use records. AHS also manages an ever-growing online collection at archiveaspen.org where the public can search by keyword.

Whether people are new to the area or their family has been here for generations, we encourage them to learn more about the area’s past at our two history museums, two ghost towns, guided tours, and programs and events for all ages. Research assistance and access to the Archives is available by appointment (email archives@aspenhistory.org or call 970-925-3721 ×110).

AHS preserves and shares stories about this community and its people to help inform a sustainable future with values rooted in our collective history. Visit aspenhistory.org for more information and follow us on social media @historyaspen for a glimpse into the AHS Collection.

Aspen Historical Society


Getting a hoof up

The turnout for Smiling Goat Ranch’s annual Healing Hoof was the best ever since the inception of the event. This is our fifth year, and first one post-COVID, and the number of participants for the newly added 5K was beyond my expectations with 70 runners. Proceeds benefited the ranch, which does not charge families for our therapeutic services.

Huge thank-yous to the Carbondale Chamber for allowing us to partner during April’s First Friday and to the Carbondale Recreation team for executing the race details. It was the debut for Carbondale Rec’s race arch, which even the Smiling Goat therapy animals got to go through. One of the horses wasn’t too sure about it but we got him though it! And so much gratitude for our wellness partners who had information booths at the Fourth Street plaza and to our sponsors who without them, this event would not be possible. And to the Main Street businesses who offered treats to the participants: Peppinos Pizza, Carbondale Beer Works and Batch Provisions. Also, big thank you to Michelle Marlow of Ascent Events, who brings the brilliance to our three annual signature events. And to Independence Run and Hike which graciously offered runners energy drinks, water and nutritious fresh fruit snacks post-race.

The following is the list of Wellness Partners who graciously work with our valley’s youth, families and veterans and provide invaluable services and support. We are thrilled and honored to have them as part of our Smiling Goat Family: Aspen Hope Center, Western Slope Veterans Coalition, Arc of the Central Rockies, Grand Junction VA Medical Center, Ascendigo, Challenge Aspen, Huts for Vets, Mind Springs Health, Aperture of Hope. Wellness Partners who couldn’t make it: Aspen Strong, YouthZone, Stepping Stones. Our Sponsors: Wrangler; Slifer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate; Alpine Bank, Lowe, Grand River Health, Berthod Motors, R&A Enterprises.

The top runners in each division received prizes donated by Town of Carbondale Parks and Rec, Monkey House Carbondale, Bonfire Coffee, Village Smithy, Allegria, Honey Butter Diner and Smiling Goat Ranch.

With gratitude,

Sheryl Barto

Founder/executive director, Smiling Goat Ranch


The stories they told

Saturday afternoon, we held our 3rd Annual Liar’s Contest and celebrated Roaring Fork Valley Storyteller’s (previously Spellbinders) 25th anniversary of storytelling in the Valley. True and false stories were told by: Nina Gabianelli, Mike Monroney, Barbara Shaw and Sylvia Wendrow and judged by: Torre, Steve Child, Chris Wheatley and our amazing audience.

I’d like to thank the community who came out in droves and supported this lively and hilarious event. I’d especially like to thank our sponsors: The Mountain Chalet and Alpine Bank.

With gratitude,

Jill Sheeley

President, RFV Storytellers


Beattie foundation puts on great production

Kudos to the Bob Beattie Ski Foundation for the creation, production and sponsoring of the showing of a great film about the life of Spider Sabich and his induction into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame. Anymore, it seems that the only time you see that many people you have known for years in one place is at a large funeral. Happy that wasn’t the case this time. Well done. Thank you for a wonderful evening.

Jim McPhee