Letter: A successful race for buddies | AspenTimes.com

Letter: A successful race for buddies

On July 4, more than 1,000 people kicked off their Fourth of July celebration with one of Aspen’s most popular traditions: the annual Boogie’s Buddy Race to benefit the Buddy Program! This 5-mile race and 1-mile family and canine walk provides funding to support nearly 1,000 local youth and their families through many critical services and programs including individual mentoring, group mentoring, leadership education, Lemonade Day, activities, scholarships and therapeutic counseling.

The Buddy Program would like to acknowledge all those who contributed to the success of one of our most important fundraisers. Through the enthusiasm and kind spirit of our race participants: the incredible work of our race producer Erika Leavitt, registration maven Kate Lunde, our volunteer coordinator Natasha Lucero, course director Ned Ryerson, timing company gurus Lonnie and Michelle Sommer, KSPN announcer David Bach and the tireless dedication of all of the amazing volunteers — many of whom have volunteered for years on end — this event was such a success!

We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors: Boogie’s Diner, The Aspen Times, Aspen 82, Aspen Magazine, Alpine Bank, Related Colorado, Belly Up, Reese Henry & Co., Carol Dopkin Real Estate, Obermeyer Asset Management, the Aspen Club, Frias Properties, KIND Bars, Dr. Dave Jensen, Himat, Paradise Bakery, d’Ellisious Cake Studio and Clark’s Market. We couldn’t have done it without your generous support!

In 2013, the Buddy Program proudly announced the renaming of “Boogie’s Buddy Race” to honor Boogie Weinglass and his endless support and commitment to the Buddy Program over the years. Boogie, thank you for being our longtime champion!

Youth participating in the Buddy Program consistently report improved self-esteem, improved involvement and interest in school, making better decisions, having more positive relationships with peers and family and growing up more involved in their communities.

The Buddy Program is grateful for the generosity of this community, especially our race sponsors, runners and other supporters, for allowing us to provide all of our services at no cost to our participants.

On Thursday, the Buddy Program’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Bash for the Buddies will be held at Marolt Open Space, with the theme of “A Honky-Tonkin’ Bash!” This is a huge week for the Buddy Program — let’s ditch our running shoes and put on our cowboy boots to support our community’s youth!

With deepest gratitude,

David Houggy

Executive director, t he Buddy Program