Safari, so good for the Buddy Program |

Safari, so good for the Buddy Program

Aspen Times Staff Report

It was safari, so good for the Buddy Program during Boogie’s Jungle Bash for the Buddies mural project on Tuesday.

Working with a safari theme this year, project coordinator Tami Solondz decided to have the children paint the murals. In past years, she had painted the murals herself.

“It’s basically a way to get the kids involved in what’s going on in the bash,” she said.

Solondz asked the children to draw pictures of animals and plants that they associated with safaris. To help them gain a better understanding of what safaris are, she asked two speakers, Adam Goldsmith and Jerry Wendell, to describe their safari experiences. After collecting all of the drawings, Tami enlarged them onto mural-size paper. Youngsters then were able to paint the murals.

Two girls who arrived to paint were equally nervous and excited about having their artwork hung at the bash.

Hannah Ohlson, 12, has been active in the Buddy Program for two years.

“I’m kind of nervous ’cause I don’t know how it will turn out. I’m eager to see how it turns out, though,” she said. “It’s a really fun project, and it’s going to be hung up and showed off.”

As the children conveyed their anxiety over having their artwork displayed, Solondz reminded them that the project was supposed to be fun, not stressful.

The girls thought that the mural project was not only fun, but also educational.

Jennifer Gagner, 11, who has also been in the program for two years, explained that she really liked the art project. “I’ve learned how to draw better because my buddy taught me how to draw shapes.”

The Boogie’s Jungle Bash for the Buddies will be held July 1 at Boogie’s Merry Go Ranch, as part of the third annual Boogie’s Gala. All proceeds from the fund-raiser go to the Buddy Program. Last year the gala raised over $200,000, and with contributions from 18 restaurants in the Aspen area and 400 participants this year, the coordinators hope to raise even more.

Some of the kids from the Buddy Program will be performing at the bash.

“We have classes where we rehearse a song or two that we will perform there [at the bash],” Ohlson said. “We sing, we dance, we have fun.”

While tickets for Boogie’s Jungle Bash are becoming scarce, some seats are available. Those interested in attending or becoming involved can call the Buddy Program at 920-2130.

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