Letter: Gratitude from Basalt’s Class of ‘16

After graduating from Basalt High School on May 28, the Class of 2016 enjoyed a night filled with entertaining games, activities, prizes, and food until the wee hours of the morning, thanks to Project Graduation, a high school tradition for 17 years.

We are so grateful to the nonprofit organizations and local businesses for their financial support of the successful event. In particular, donating more than $500 to Project Graduation were Alpine Banks, Pitkin County, The Thrift Shop of Aspen, Carbondale Potato Days, Crawford Properties LLC, Aspen Elks Lodge #224, Sandy Jerger, the town of Basalt, and Wal-Mart. Donors that gave more than $250 include Rittvo Family Foundation, Sherer Properties LLC, Bank of Colorado, Basalt and Rural Fire District Volunteers, Colorado 500, Timberline Bank, Locke Family Medicine, and Whole Foods Market of the Roaring Fork Valley.

In-kind donors who generously contributed food, swag-bag fillers, a moving van, and storage units: Aspen Skiing Co., Casa de Valle, El Nopal, BLT, Timbo’s Pizza, Domino’s, City Market, Chris and Julie Maniscalchi, Basalt Clinic Pharmacy, Valley Lumber, Basalt Mini Storage, Alpine Bank, Elevate Dental, Bed Bath and Beyond, Wells Fargo Aspen, Aspen Valley Hospital, Roaring Fork Club and Valley View Hospital. There were dozens of local businesses that donated gift cards, products and services for prizes for the graduates; special thanks to Colorado Mountain College for awarding class credits to one lucky winner. We could not have pulled off the evening without longtime volunteer Deb Morrison, Basalt High School teacher Ralph Smalley, and at least two dozen parents who gave their time setting up, cleaning up and running games.

Thank you to all the local businesses that placed donations jars on their counter tops, and El Jebeverage, whose jar collected the most donations. Your support made it a record year for collecting change!

On behalf of the 2016 Basalt High School Project Graduation committee, we thank you for your generosity. Because of you, the Class of 2016 went home loaded with prizes and amazing memories shared among friends and classmates. But most importantly, they got home safely.

Dawn Ogren

Chair, Basalt High School Project Graduation