Letter: Aspen community made me proud during recent tragedy

Many of you have read the stories of the father and his three children camping up at Maroon Bells and the tragedy that occurred, killing the father, Jeffrey Beard, and his son Cameron. I, along with Aspen Valley Hospital social worker Michelle Miscone and patient representative Joe High, and many others from Aspen Valley Hospital, assisted the children and mother during this horrible time. In my years as a grief counselor, this was one of the hardest days.

One of the things I am most proud of is the way in which our community handled this tragedy and how caring they were in the process. Aspen Valley Hospital’s employees were so compassionate and professional and caring. The Sheriff’s Office did its job with the highest integrity while being sensitive to the children’s needs. Gabe Meuthing, operations manager for the Aspen Ambulance District, took care of every need for the family. The Limelight Lodge housed the mother and children and other family members for free and paid for all of their food. The family that found the children at Maroon Bells took care of them and then brought clothing to the hospital for the kids to change into. Michelle and Joe spent time with the wife and made sure she knew she was protected until other family members could arrive. Aspen should be proud of the way the family was embraced and nurtured during this unimaginable time in their lives.

A fund has been set up at Alpine Bank called The Beard Family Fund for anyone who would like to donate toward helping the two children who survived this loss. The family lives in Colorado Springs and the mother has a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old as well as Elise, 15, and Brandon, 7. The fund was inspired by the family of Lile Mullins, who died at the age of 7 in 2012. Mark and Marisa Mullins give in honor of Lile to people in need and have made a donation to The Beard Family Fund as part of Lile’s Angel Fund. Please contact Alpine Bank if you would like to contribute to the futures of these surviving children.

Allison Daily