Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Jan. 13, 2019)
January 12, 2019
A community with a strong backbone
I moved to Aspen in 2004 and realized right away that it was a truly unique place. There are undeniably pros and cons of living in an area as special as this valley. With this letter I'd like to thank a few entities and individuals for contributing to those pros.
I am recovering from a backcountry accident that shattered bones in my heel and spine in September. The selfless assistance that I've experienced since that morning have moved me deeply and solidified my perception of this community as a place with an incredible sense of support.
My first thank-you goes out to the incredible men and women of Aspen Mountain Rescue. To have a group of highly qualified professional volunteers who were able to organize and provide the quality of rescue support, with the speed that they did, was absolutely exceptional. I think this is something all of us who take our pleasure in the incredible beauty of this valley's wild natural surroundings should appreciate on a very deep level.
This is a group of women and men who are literally putting their lives on the line to help others and save lives when the call comes in, anytime, any day. I can't imagine a more apt definition of hero than the outstanding people involved in Aspen Mountain Rescue.
I'd also like to thank the folks at Builders First Source at the Aspen Business Center who arranged for lumber to be generously donated for an access ramp to my home. With the help of local contractor David Franklin and a few volunteers, I was amazed that I could roll into my house after my six days in the hospital on a newly built ramp.
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I also was very impressed and extremely grateful that Dennis Murray with the city of Aspen and Brian Pawl with Pitkin County were able to help expedite a building permit for this temporary ramp to be completed within compliance before I got home. I mean, people speeding the wheels of bureaucracy to help an injured member of their community — that's a beautiful thing, Aspen!
The outpouring of help from my friends and neighbors who assisted with things ranging from loaning me crutches and shower benches, to delivering prepared meals and helping around the house was truly moving. Although these things are something anyone blessed enough to have quality friends might be able to experience, I honestly believe there's something special about this valley's particular citizenry that helps us see the benefit of coming together to help others. I think this might just be one of the most incredible aspects of life here in the Roaring Fork Valley, and that's no short list!
Again, thanks to all those listed here, and to all the others in this valley who have in the past and continue to lend a hand to others in the future. We're all blessed to live in a community with a strong enough backbone to extend that big helping hand to get our neighbors back up if they fall down.
Get involved in robotics
Happy new year! If you are looking for an exciting opportunity to meet talented young people from the Western Slope region, consider volunteering at a Colorado FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics tournament. Without volunteers, FIRST could not exist and the many students attending our events would miss the opportunity to problem solve and showcase their robots for the Rover Ruckus season.
These FTC qualifiers will determine which teams receive an invitation to compete at the Colorado FTC State Championship on Feb. 9. Your role is crucial and we sincerely appreciate the time you give as a volunteer to make these tournaments possible. We are looking for judges and a variety of support positions throughout the day.
We would love to have you on our team of volunteers for the Western Slope FTC Qualifier at Glenwood Springs High School in Glenwood Springs on Saturday. We want anyone who might enjoy one of these exciting days where they are impressed by the creativity and engineering attempts of our young people in Colorado.
Please take a minute to watch the video at the following website: http://www.firstinspires.org/node/3616. This will give you a small taste of the challenge the students have worked on during the past months and the type of event you will be a part of. I know you will have a great time as a volunteer. Volunteers get an official tournament shirt and we will make sure you are fed well throughout the day!
First step for all volunteers is signing up in the VIMS: If this is your first time as a volunteer, go to the following address and click on the "sign up" button in the upper right-hand corner of the page: http://www.firstinspires.org.
Help support these young engineers!
Aspen School District
Great people during tough times
On Dec. 20, I had the misfortune of getting run into on the ski slope and ended up with eight fractures and dislocations to my foot. Needless to say, a life-changing event in a split second.
I want to reach out to thank so many — from the Snowmass ski instructors who stopped to see if I was OK, to the incredible ski patroller who took me down in the rig, at a speed to challenge Lindsey Vonn, and handing me off to the smiling and helpful care at Snowmass Medical Clinic; to the ambulance ride no one cares to encounter but had wonderful care and conversation … to be whisked to the ER at Aspen Valley Hospital where I was greeted by someone I actually know and trust.
Having lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since the early 1980s, I am no stranger to AVH and gave birth to my children there watching deer graze out the window under the aspen trees. However, not all visits were as positive as the maternity ward in the past years, and I must admit I was at first a bit resistant to be headed there on this ambulance ride.
My next hours were crucial to my future and quality of life going forward. The incredible care, attitude, communication and professionalism the doctors, nurses, PTs and techs who took me on, changed my opinion full circle. I feel so fortunate to have had some of the most amazing doctors and team of caregivers I have ever had. I can not thank you all enough for all you did for my incredible care. It is so nice to have the good fortune of having such a amazing hospital in our valley available to all of us. Thank you also to the Snowmass Police for your help and support, as well as the phone calls from Snowmass Ski Patrol. None have been forgotten and are deeply appreciated.
Thank you to all the friends who have reached out with their smiles, laughter, food and positive energy and to, of course, my amazing husband who has been my rock, support and caregiver throughout. I feel so fortunate to not only live among these amazing mountains, but also to share and live among them with some pretty amazing people.
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