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Letter: Strong connections

The strength of our community showed its true aspen glow this weekend at Aspen Strong’s third annual Hike Hope Heal. The money raised goes directly to the Mental Health Fund, which allows Roaring Fork Valley residents to access financial support for mental-health services from licensed professionals.

Early Saturday morning, the sun rose over Herron Park just as Arielle Vandershuit of Strikingly Fit led our group in a free warm-up yoga session. The golden light and crispness in the air reflected the beauty of our surroundings. The smiles and chatter that filled the park reflected the moods and spirits lifted from this community event. As we headed out for an invigorating hike, I was struck by the camaraderie and support that hikers developed with one another up Smuggler Mountain. Everyone appeared stronger and happier with each step.

We are so grateful for the financial support of our sponsors: Smiddy Limo, Clark’s Market, Mountain Chalet, Aspen Volunteer Fire Department, Devlin Financial Services, The Aspen Store, Alpine Bank, Bendon Adams, C. Barnes Construction, The Eating Disorder Clinic of Denver and Balantine Collection International. Your support is going to benefit so many!



Thanks to the more than 30 local businesses that supported our donations giveaway and to the services and products donated to make the event a celebration: Injinji toe socks, Zapazoo Ink Worms, DJ Naka G, Mack Bailey, Mountain Waste and Recycle, The Aspen Times and The Gant. We couldn’t have done it without you! In addition, we had amazing mental-health resources that were present that day to help people gather information: NAMI, Aspen Hope Center, WindWalkers, Julie Martin Counseling, PREP, Roaring Fork Christian Counseling, Shadow Mountain , Triad and Music Therapy of Aspen. Everyone should check out the services they have to offer.

What’s a hike without some excellent food to refuel? Thanks to all of our sponsors that provided deliciousness when we needed it most: Louis Swiss, Paradise Bakery, Big Wrap, City Market, Tasters and Starbucks of Basalt. What a great way to recover; thank you.



And a very special shout-out to Jaywalker and team Kenichi! Your enthusiasm, participation and support added even more sunshine to the day!

Just like the aspen groves that our community is named for, we each stand taller and shine brighter through the strong connections at the root of our community. Each of our sponsors, volunteers and participants should feel proud of their efforts to continue to strengthen our community and show the world that together we are Aspen strong!

Resa Hayes

Board president, Aspen Strong Foundation


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