Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Oct. 27, 2019)

A musical treat

This past weekend, the Symphony in the Valley (SITV) gave two very fine performances, one in Rifle, one in Glenwood Springs, collaborating with choirs from Rifle High School, Coal Ridge High School, Liberty Classical Academy, SoRoCo High School and Basalt High School.

As a member of the orchestra, it was a thrill to be part of this amazing collaboration. It takes a great deal of effort on the part of everyone to perform concerts like these. Besides my thanks to my colleagues in the orchestra, our audiences, the businesses and all the donors and patrons who support us, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the choirs and their directors for their good work: Daryl Gingrich, Rifle High School; Nancy Beyea, Coal Ridge High School; Doug Gelpi Liberty Classical Academy; Kelli Turnipseed, SoRoCo High School; and Christina Wenning, Basalt High School. I especially wish to thank and congratulate Kelly Thompson, SITV music director for his tireless efforts in bringing all of us together to make it such a joyous experience for all!

The valley’s musical riches continued this week with the High Country Sinfonia performances. This excellent string group, joined by Rob Merritt on trumpet, presented an intimate chamber concert that was truly joyous. Look for more concerts by these two groups, you will truly enjoy the experience.

Deborah Barnekow

Musician, El Jebel

Turning your donations to worthy grants

Every month, volunteers of the Aspen Thrift Shop meet to continue to accomplish our mission: to make grants to nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are grateful to community members who continue to support our efforts by donating and purchasing gently used clothing and household items.

For the month of October, we are pleased to announce the following recipients: Alfred Braun Hut System, Alpine Legal Services, Aspen Community School (art), Aspen Elks Lodge (drug awareness), Aspen Family Connections, Aspen High School (guide school), Basalt Elementary School (robotics), Basalt Middle School (ODE), Carbondale Community School, Casting for Recovery, Growing Years Preschool, Holiday Baskets and Valley Settlement.

The ladies of the Aspen Thrift Shop

Thanks for a great season on the gridiron

Football is my absolute favorite sport. I have had a great time with the fifth/sixth grade football team this season. We have learned about teamwork and football. I want to give these people a special thanks: I want to thank head coach Travis Benson and high school Athletic Director Martha Richards and their staff for making the turf available. I want to thank Susan Aranella and Alex Schrempf from the Recreation Department, as well as Blair Elliott and his staff from the Parks Department for helping to make this season happen. I want to thank the Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224 for all of their support and our shirts. I want to thank Ron Morehead for his dedication to this sport and making this program happen. I especially want to thank my coaches, coach Bubba Eggleston, coach Dennis Philen, coach Dave Garaffa and coach Boomer Devlin.

Thank you all so much.

Yale Gieszl


Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Aspen

Aspen Ute Foundation would like to thank the city of Aspen, Mayor Torre, Councilwoman Ann Mullins, the Wheeler Opera House, Aspen Film and all the staff and volunteers who have contributed to bring the second annual Shining Mountains Film Festival to Aspen.

Many thanks to the various Native American Indians who participated through their films/documentaries/personal stories, panel of discussion, prayers, songs and dances, and for coming from far away to add an indigenous presence to our town. Aspen passed a resolution in 2017 to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the fourth city in Colorado to lead the way for many others all across North America. This celebration is to bring awareness to native culture as well as offering an opportunity for collaboration and education on a wide range of social justice issues and building solidarity within the local community. Gratitude to all the locals and visitors for your support of our indigenous programs.

Deanne Vitrac Kessler

Aspen Ute Foundation