Summer nonprofit fundraisers start to ramp up |

Summer nonprofit fundraisers start to ramp up

As Aspen’s summer events season kicks off this weekend with Ride The Rockies and next weekend with the Food & Wine Classic, so also begins the fundraising season for nonprofits.

Nowhere was that more apparent than at Wednesday’s Pitkin County board of commissioners weekly meeting, where no less than three organizations applied for and were granted special-event liquor permits.

And with ticket options for the three events ranging from free to $20 to hundreds of dollars, “there’s something for everyone,” said Commissioner George Newman.

First up Wednesday were representatives of the Buddy Program, which pairs mentors with nearly 1,000 children between Aspen and Carbondale, said Meghan Pearlman, the program’s development director.

This year’s Bash for Buddies will again be held July 7 at Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass’ Merry Go Round Ranch on McLain Flats Road in Woody Creek and will feature a California beach party theme, Pearlman said. The organization receives half its budget from the annual party, silent auction and live auction, which usually attracts about 500 people, she said.

Tickets for the event start at $350 for general admission and range to between $10,000 and $25,000 for tables, Pearlman said.

Next up was Wilderness Workshop, which will be holding its annual “friend-raiser” called Wildfest at Hunter Thompson’s Owl Creek Farm in Woody Creek on July 2, said Rueben Sadowsky, one of the party’s organizers.

Tickets for the event are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the party. The difference in price between the Buddy Program and the Wilderness Workshop prompted a bit of advice from Commissioner Michael Owsley.

“Didn’t you guys hear how much tickets were to the previous event?” Owsley said. “You guys might be underpricing yourselves.”

Last was Seth Sachson of the Aspen Animal Shelter, who said he has jettisoned expensive fundraisers for the time being in favor of a repeat of last year’s free community carnival. Titled “A Dog Day Afternoon,” the event will take place July 10 at the shelter near the Aspen Business Center, he said.

The BYOD event — “bring your own dog” — will feature activities for kids, a dunk tank and a dog wash, Sachson said.

“For those who didn’t go last year, we had a great time,” Commissioner Patti Clapper said. “It’s really, really a neat event.”


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