Pearlington relief effort still needs funds
With one mighty effort on July 3, folks in Redstone managed to raise $26,000 to help the recovery effort in Pearlington.The Redstone Community Association, the owners of the Crystal Club Cafe and the Carbondale fire department teamed to sponsor the Mardi Gras in the Mountains concert and party. The event was so successful it became the single largest fundraising effort for the Pearlington Project, a relief program that started in Carbondale and spread throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.Tom Dalessandri, director of the Pearlington Project, said about $150,000 had been collected as of January. That doesn’t include the $26,000 raised in Redstone and another $1,400 contributed during the Carbondale Mountain Fair.In addition to the $177,400 in cash, supplies ranging from construction tools and materials to appliances have been contributed to the effort, Dalessandri said. Several church groups, service organizations and individuals have also volunteered their time in Pearlington.Dalessandri and a crew of three tree-cutters from Carbondale are currently in Pearlington. Countless trees in the heavily-wooded community died or are dying because of last year’s hurricane. Many of them are threatening homes and roadways, Dalessandri said. The crew cut down a huge pine tree Monday that towered over the remodeled home of Debra Sonnier. She said she has been worried for the last year that the tree would fall and doom her house.People who want to make financial contributions to the effort can send a check to the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, Pearlington Project, P.O. Box 1639, Aspen, CO 81612.People who want to volunteer their time should be flexible, Dalessandri said. He wants people to go in groups rather than individually so they can be more effective. To volunteer, leave a message at 618-1347.
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The Wheeler Opera House will remain dark into 2021, with current COVID-19 public health orders in place. Meanwhile, the masonry work on the exterior of the building will continue into July.