Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Feb. 23, 2020)

Readers Liz and Neil Siegel applauded the first responders who extinguished last week’s fire at 621 W. Francis St.
Courtesy photo

Praise and thanks for first responders

For reasons that do not require detailing, we were present at 621 W. Francis St. when the first responders arrived to deal with the gas leak fire in the garage. It was an extremely dangerous situation that given the proximity of other structures could have easily spiraled out of control. When the fire was finally contained those of us on-site providing support for the owner were left with the unshakable conclusion that these first responders willingly, without pause or reservation, placed themselves in harm’s way. Their actions were heroic — we saw it.

We should never, never ever take these heroes for granted.

Liz and Neil Siegel


Taking care of our own

“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” — Mahatma Gandhi

This wonderful quote and important observation is shared by the Aspen Homeless Shelter in their communications. In the spirit of giving during the holidays, our community measured up once again in terms of caring for our homeless brothers and sisters. It’s a blessing to live in such a giving community!

Sun Dog Athletics would like to express sincere thanks to our generous Roaring Fork Valley community for their kind donations of much-needed winter clothing and funds during our second annual Warm and Fuzzy Winter Clothing Drive organized for the Aspen Homeless Shelter and held from Nov. 21 to Jan. 15.

According to Dasa Basaova, director of development at the Aspen Homeless Shelter, the “Warm and Fuzzy Winter Clothing Drive brought many warm clothes for the homeless. The response was great again this year. Thank you so much for caring about the homeless!”

Special thanks to the Aspen Daily News and The Aspen Times for their support in spreading the word. We couldn’t have been as successful without you.

Our local homeless shelter is a great resource for many, especially during the brutally cold and snowy winter months. Come wintertime, St. Mary Catholic Church deserves huge credit for feeding and hosting folks overnight. Jesus taught us to care for those in need, especially those in the greatest need. We can do even more for our fellow locals. I urge residents to get involved, offer their ideas and follow up with action to lift up our brothers and sisters in the most need. Even a smile and a greeting make a difference and only “cost” a bit of awareness and effort. Now more than ever, it’s important to raise others up. The happiness we can bring will be returned as our own happiness. Some call it karma.

Thanks again to all the kind souls who supported our second annual Warm & Fuzzy Winter Coat Drive. You’ve helped our housing challenged friends stay warmer this winter and show that many in our valley truly care.

Erik Skarvan

Sun Dog Athletics, Aspen

Thanks, Skico

A belated thank you to Auden Schendler and Aspen Skiing Co. for bringing the incredible Bill McKibben to the Aspen U speaker series. If you missed this talk, you can see it on YouTube, search for “aspen u // bill mckibben.” If you care to pass on a sustainable future to your grandchildren, it is an inspiring show — light on science and long on solutions. Skip the 16 minutes of Q&A; they didn’t add to it.

And thanks also for senior ski day. It rocks!

Tom Mooney


Kidney fund keeps growing

I just wanted to say thank you to our amazing valley for all of your support so far with Bruno’s kidney transplant fund. We are just about $1,000 from our goal and as soon as we reach it he goes to the top of the kidney transplant list at UC Health in Aurora. This is going to be an amazing life-changing operation for not just Bruno, but his entire family. Please keep sharing and donating and help us get to our goal! There is a GoFundMe named Bruno Kirchenwitz Kidney Transplant Fund and there also is a bank account set up at Firstbank (Carbondale or Glenwood Locations) named Bruno Kirchenwitz Kidney Fund. Thanks again to all the help so far from our amazing valley.

Stephanie Kirchenwitz


Senior fun on the hill

A big thanks to Aspen Skiing Co. and Pitkin County Senior Services for hosting the seniors to a very special day on Feb. 13: a ride on the gondola with a delicious breakfast, prizes and even a cat ride on top of the mountain. Great fun, great prizes and awesome fun for seniors who don’t ski any longer (some of them still do!) to relive those memories of the top of the world!

Additional kudos to the staff of the Pitkin County Senior Center for putting on such a great Valentine’s Day lunch. Chef Mike and his assistant Brian are outstanding. This was followed by a wonderful program with music by Chris and Ella Joy Lougeay — so fantastic! Followed by a beautiful talk by arts educator Gail Sachson — “Explore Love Themed Artwork.” What a wonderful way to share our love. Thank you all: Chad, Patty, Mary, Ruth, Mike and Brian.

Helene and John Baran