‘Calaway Give-Back’ launched in honor of late local philanthropist | AspenTimes.com

‘Calaway Give-Back’ launched in honor of late local philanthropist

Glenwood Springs Post Independent Staff report
Jim Calaway
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

A new community giving program will serve to remember Jim Calaway’s philanthropic legacy in the Roaring Fork Valley, as the community prepares to mourn his loss during a memorial and celebration of life today.

Sponsored by Alpine Bank, with support from Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley, the new “Calaway Give-Back” program kicked off during a First Friday celebration.

The event included adoptable pets at the Pour House and Marble Distilling in Carbondale, followed by a week of free adoptions at Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE), one of the many organizations Calaway has supported over the years.

For the month of February, drop boxes located at different locations in the valley will allow budding philanthropists to support some of Calaway’s favorite causes.

“The outpouring of love and support from our community wanting to help with Jim’s Celebration of Life (this) morning at The Orchard has been incredible,” organizer Kim Rogers said in a statement Thursday. “We are excited to see the community respond to an opportunity to give back in Jim’s honor.

“One-hundred percent of what is donated will go to those in need in our valley and local nonprofit organizations such as CARE and LIFT-UP. We are thrilled for this to become an annual tradition to honor Jim’s legacy of giving.”

At the drop-box locations, people can donate new thermal socks for the homeless, nonperishable food for LIFT-UP or pet food for CARE. Donations will be accepted at Alpine Bank locations in Basalt, Willits, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, City Market stores in El Jebel and Carbondale, Colorado Mountain College locations in Carbondale and Glenwood, and at the Habitat ReStore, Petco, Pour House, River Valley Ranch, The Third Street Center and Whole Foods.

Organizers of the campaign are also encouraging financial contributions during February in Calaway’s honor to any of his favorite nonprofit organizations. To do so, go online and visit any of the following organizations: The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, The Aspen Institute, Colorado Animal Rescue, Colorado Mountain College Foundation, Garfield County Libraries, Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley, Sopris Sun, Third Street Center, Thunder River Theater Co., Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist, or the Valley View Hospital Foundation/Calaway-Young Cancer Center.

“Jim would love the Calaway Give Back idea,” family friend Alexandra Yajko said in the statement. “He wanted to show others how wonderful it feels to give, how softly it landed on our hearts.

“Jim loved all critters, he stood up for people who could not stand up for themselves, and he loved celebrating his birthdays. Combining all these elements into a giving opportunity would make him happy. Jim will live in our hearts forever.”

Organizers intend to make the Calaway Give Back an annual event, starting with the June First Friday celebration in Carbondale, in conjunction with Calaway’s birth month.

“Jim was an amazing, larger-than-life man who helped so many people in the valley and beyond,” said friend and mentee Scott Gilbert, who serves as Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley president. “It’s hard to comprehend his impact. He has left quite a legacy and will be dearly missed.”