Kudos and Kindness | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness

Making an impact

Last Wednesday night, 100+ Women Who Care of the Roaring Fork Valley held its quarterly meeting at the Limelight Lodge. More than 40 women braved the snowstorm to support this worthy cause. It was a lovely meeting and we heard from three wonderful organizations: Huts for Vets, Aspen Science Center and Wilderness Workshop.

Huts for Vets received the most votes and will receive the monies we collect from our loyal members. We are excited to support such a worthwhile and beautiful cause. This group provides, at no cost to participants, wilderness and communal experiences as therapeutic healing for U.S. veterans and active-duty service members. Their mission is to help veterans adjust to and enjoy civilian life by gaining tools for enhancing mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. Please visit their website for more information: http://www.hutsforvets.org

We want to thank the women in our community for supporting 100+ Women Who Care for the past three years. We are so gratified to have raised about $50,000 for 12 501(c)3 organizations in our valley. Each quarterly meeting lasts only one hour or less, and by joining together we are able to really impact local charitable groups with our donation. We also want to extend a sincere thank you to Reese Henry and Co. for sponsoring us at the Limelight Lodge. It's a great location for our members and we couldn't meet regularly without this valued support.

We are so excited for 2014 and we hope to see you at our next meeting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Limelight Lodge. All women of all ages are welcome to join at any time, and also please feel free to come and just observe how our group works. With your help, we can make an even bigger difference for the better in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Mandy Welgos, Robin Van Domelen and Emily Weingart Farrell

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100+ Women Who Care of the Roaring Fork Valley

Great hosts for Buddy Program event

More than 120 Buddies gathered on Sunday, Dec. 8, to build gingerbread houses! The kids had a great time decorating their houses, and really got into the holiday spirit! Event hosts Helen DeFrance and Jim Fifield led the workshop and helped raise funds to support the Buddy Program year round. Big thank-you to our sponsors: Jim Fifield and Helen DeFrance, The Little Nell Hotel, Italian Wine Merchants, Aspen Valley Hospital, Charles Cunniffe Architects, Donald Drapkin, Hansen Construction, Garfield & Hecht PC, the Gorsuch family, Lorrie Wright-LaRose and Tim LaRose, Coldwell Banker/Mason Morse, Mona Look Mazza and Tony Mazza, Bill Powers, Angie and Gary Stewart, and Wells Fargo.

The Buddies showed incredible creativity, and a great time was had by all!

David Houggy

Executive director, Buddy Program

A big lift for Lift-Up

On behalf of the Baguettes and volunteers at the Aspen/Snowmass Lift-Up Food Pantry, I want to publicly acknowledge the many individuals, organizations and local businesses that continuously support the pantry since we opened our doors in June 2009. Each year over 500 people come to this pantry in need of food aid. For some of these people, this is the only food they have access to each day.

A special thank-you goes to the Mill Street partners who provide us a place of business. A shout-out to Rachel Richards and Susie Bernard, who bring us bags of food every single month. To the Senior Service Club at Aspen High School, Cub Scout Troop 224, and the Snowmass Village Community Potluck dinner and their sponsors, the Snowmass Chapel, Snowmass Rotary and the Westin Hotel: We are very appreciative for the food drives you organize every year. A special thanks this winter goes to the Aspen Board of Realtors for the enormous food drive they put on in support of the Lift-Up pantries in Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale. We are very grateful to Aspen City Market and Roxy's Market for their weekly donations of food. And finally, to the 16 women who generously give their time to staff the pantry week after week (you know who you are), a huge thank-you. We could not do this without you.

Lynda Palevsky

Volunteer coordinator, Aspen/Snowmass Food Pantry

Ryno's kicks in for Aspen Youth Center

On behalf of Aspen Youth Center, I would like to thank Ryno's Pies & Pints for hosting Aspen Youth Center Night on Dec. 6. All attendees that donated to Aspen Youth Center enjoyed 50 percent off their food bill! This generous deal brought smiles to many faces — as did Ryno's' excellent service, delicious new menu and family friendly arcade.

And thank you to everyone who attended! Community support helps Aspen Youth Center to continue offering after school and summer programs free of charge. After 22 years of service, we continue to grow and look forward to remaining a trusted and relied upon resource for families throughout the valley.

Aspen Youth Center offers after-school and summer programs for all youth in grades four through 12. Please visit http://www.aspenyouthcenter.org to learn more.

Keith Berglund

Executive director, Aspen Youth Center

Congratulations!

This past week and weekend were the performances of the Messiah, an annual event for 35 years, now 36. It is the culmination of a great effort on everyone's part: studying scores, practicing and rehearsals, and finally the performances, coming together to honor G.F. Handel's great music, Messiah.

With the very sad passing of Ray Adams last March, the question was: Would the tradition continue? The Aspen Choral Society offered the baton to Paul Dankers, who has become the new conductor. All involved performed their utmost, not just for Ray's memory but for their new director, under whose leadership has taken the Choral Society to a new level. His choral expertise has given the choir a new sound, very blended and full of energy. It is always a wonder to see one's pharmacist, real estate broker, hairdresser, music teachers and many others coming together to give five excellent performances in one of the snowiest weeks of the season.

Heartfelt congratulations to my friend Paul Dankers, to all the choir members and the orchestra for such wonderful and enjoyable performances. Thank you!

Deborah Barnekow

Local independent musician