Kudos and Kindness | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness

Robotics team revs up for tourney

The robotics season at Aspen Middle School is gearing up for the Nov. 2 tournament at Glenwood Springs High School, and some thank-yous are in order.

Without the generous support of parents, the Jim Aresty Foundation, the Aspen Education Foundation and Aspen School District faculty and staff, our district would not be able to field nine First Lego League teams and two First Tech Challenge teams.

But beyond this support, local businesses and organizations have proven more than generous in their time and energy for the students.

This year's First Lego League topic is Nature's Fury, and the teams not only must complete a challenging robotics course but also must explore natural disasters and what happens to communities when they occur. Then they must come up with innovative solutions to problems related to staying safe, preparing and rebuilding.

To that end, Aspen Skiing Co. employees such as Liz Bergdahl are providing valuable avalanche information along with experts Scott McBride, Neil Beidleman and employees at Ute Mountaineer.

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The city of Aspen and the Pitkin County Public Works Department have long been supporters of students, and this week Susan Pearson and Gerald Fielding will share their engineering knowledge with teams of students who are interested in the dangers of flooding in our valley.

Members of the Fire Department and Mountain Rescue also have answered questions. Without their support, these 9- to 14-year-olds would not develop the understanding such expertise provides. I cannot say "thank you" enough or fully express the gratitude I have for such support.

I'm sure there are many others who have helped the students as a parent or through family connections, or even to support their fundraising efforts, and to them I extend additional thank-yous. As I look toward Nov. 2, and the nearly 100 Aspen students who will compete, I encourage other community members to share their knowledge and support, perhaps by serving as a technical or project judge or just coming out to watch our local students along with more than 100 others from the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Slope region. For more information, log onto http://www.firstlegoleague.org/ challenge/2013naturesfury or fll.coloradofirst.org.

Us First founder Dean Kamen calls First Lego League sport for the mind and wants to honor those who pursue knowledge in science and technology the same way we honor and support our athletes. We welcome you to watch these future innovators spend a day immersed in Nature's Fury on Nov. 2 at Glenwood Springs High School.

My students and I realize we are fortunate to live, work and learn in such a supportive community.

Caroline Hanson

Teacher-coach, Aspen Middle School robotics

Sponsors provide winning ingredients

My name is Tyler Ward, and I play football for Aspen's fifth- and sixth-grade football team. I love being part of the Three Rivers Youth Football organization.

I would like to thank everyone in our community who makes our football season possible.

Thank you to the Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224, our sponsor; Carol Sams, Aspen High School athletic director; Ron Morehead for all of his years as a town rep for Three Rivers Youth Football; and Aspen Parks and Recreation for sharing its fields.

I also would like to give a big thanks to our awesome coaches for all of their hard work: my dad, John Ward, who never stops believing in me, Chris Hendrickson, Shaun Kennedy, Scott Miller and Chris Passero.

Tyler Ward

Aspen

Skico open when gov't isn't

Kudos to Aspen Skiing Co. and the Crown family! My niece from Taiwan was visiting last week, and my wife and I were looking forward to showing her the Maroon Bells. We all know why that couldn't happen. Instead, she and hundreds of other visitors had the unique experience of viewing fall colors while kicking through the snow atop Aspen Mountain on Saturday morning. What a great thing: people of all ages, dogs of all sizes, hula hoops. Everyone was happy!

Mark Cole

Basalt

Fishing for a cause

Two weeks ago, the Roaring Fork Valley hosted the 10th annual Cystic Fibrosis Celebrity Fly Fishing Classic. This annual event raises money for research for this debilitating disease and over the years raised more than $300,000.

Many thanks to all of the participants and especially to the professional fly-fishing guides who participated in this event. The guides who gave so generously of their time were Dustin Harcourt, Gifford Maytham, Jeremy Stott, Jason Peltack, Kevin Sullivan, Lincoln Neiley, Pete Mott, Christian Hill and Mike Thomas. You guys are the best!

Also, thanks to the Riverside Grill, the Roaring Fork Club, European Caterers and Louis Swiss Pastries for your participation in this great event.

Tim Heng

Taylor Creek Fly Shop

Basalt