Kudos & Kindness (April 11, 2021)

Dance, song and prayer

On April 3 in downtown Aspen, we were blessed by an amazing showcase of Native dance and drum exhibition. The presence of the first inhabitants of these lands, their beautiful traditional songs, dances and prayers were a healing balm on our spirits after a year long of dealing with COVID-19 impacts.

Aspen Indigenous Foundation would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to city of Aspen for allowing us to bring this event to the community, and to our generous sponsors: Aspen Skiing Co., Annabelle Inn, Mountain Chalet, Molly Gibson, the St. Regis, New York Pizza and to all the donors who contributed to support cultural Native programs such as this past exhibition.

Thank you to all the dancers and singers who made the trip from their tribal lands: to Ute Mountain Ute Elder, Norman Lopez, for his opening Ute Prayer; to Larry Yazzie for coordinating the program; to all the volunteers for their hard work and to the spectators for respecting the city’s regulations. Together we contributed to make this event a success. May we all walk in harmony with Mother Earth, the elements and each other.

Deanne Vitrac-Kessler

Woody Creek

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Helping our children

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Sparkling blue pinwheels will be spotted around town this week and throughout the month of April. Each year local organizations recognize this month as a way to honor the promise that each child brings to our community. The blue pinwheels represent the fun that should be there in a child’s life. Paepcke Park will display 237 pinwheels; each one symbolizes a child who received services from River Bridge Regional Center in the past year.

Here in Pitkin County, Adult and Family Services staff served over 120 families in 2020. The department offers supportive and preventative services such as voluntary case management, therapeutic services, and family meetings. AFS is committed to working with community partners like River Bridge to help families navigate difficult situations, and to help parents be the caregivers that they want to be.

Together with Pitkin County Adult and Family Services and Kids First, River Bridge is looking to bring awareness to this distressing issue in our society, while also giving a voice and identity to our children. They will not be victims forever. Because of the services they receive, they will find healing and strength to become survivors, and go on to live their best life.

Please join us in celebrating the lives of children during the month of April and consider donating time or treasure to one of our many organizations that work with and serve children.

Amy Egertson-Throm

Volunteer, River Bridge Regional Center

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Deaf camp gets boost from ACF

Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a recent recipient of Aspen Community Foundation’s Technical Assistance Grant. These dollars help with board and organizational development and will be guided by deaf professional consultant Laura Gabbay, of “Splendid Fundraising.” On behalf of the ACDHH Board, we thank the ACF and their donors for this support and encouragement.

Karen Immerso


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Melvilles make Aspen special

Kudos to the Melville clan. Their toil through generations not only has built successful businesses and bred model citizens. It’s coupled with an unswerving commitment to community. The Melvilles could have traded their landmark lodge for riches far beyond what the Mt. Chalet’s recent sale will bear. Instead, they insisted on finding trusted custodians of the landmark lodge; guardians to preserve its place as a community anchor.

When asked what distinguishes Aspen as a special, place don’t say, “Ajax,” or “Maroon Bells.” Say, “people like the Melvilles.”

Maurice Emmer