The true spirit of giving |

The true spirit of giving

Tucked away in the News in Brief column of yesterday’s Aspen Times was a short article about how the Aspen Elks Lodge has agreed to donate $624 to the building of a new animal shelter.

The donation is not a huge amount of money, especially when compared to the numerous requests the Elks Lodge fulfills in the nonprofit community every year. But it’s important in that it symbolizes just what the Elks stand for and what makes them special.

The lodge had already agreed to give the Aspen Animal Shelter’s building fund $500. But when its members read an article in The Aspen Times about three high school students calling themselves the Muddy Paws Group who had worked hard to drum up $624 for the shelter, the Elks felt obliged to pitch in a little more.

It was the Elks’ way of recognizing the hard work of special youths in this community ” in this instance Annabelle Berklund, Ariane “Chicky” Bartlett and Corina Person.

As Elks board member Gary Quist put it, “We … look very favorably upon innovative youth and organizations who will take the initiative to work hard to raise money for their cause, rather than just wait for or expect donations to fall into their lap.”

We offer our praise to the Aspen Elks Lodge for this approach to helping out the hundreds of nonprofits in this valley. It embodies the true spirit of giving and helps promote forward thinking among not only the youth of this area, but also the nonprofits.

The Elks have long been the “quiet” givers in this community. Their list of contributions over the years is nearly endless. They have shown their importance as valued citizens of this valley. For that they deserve our thanks.

And we also tip our hats to the Muddy Paws. During a time when young people are much maligned for being apathetic to the needs of their communities, they have given us a reason to place hope in the next generation.