A little something from the Good News Department: Durango Drive-In and Durango Education Foundation have teamed up to offer Durango School District 9-R employees the chance to catch a movie this weekend, the last in the Durango Drive-In movies series.
John Oakes, Durango event producer, said the idea came from the fact that because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many local organizations have had to cancel their fundraisers, galas and other events.
And those cancellations include 9-R’s annual employee-appreciation event, said Diana Cruz, executive director of Durango Education Foundation. The event is usually held at Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center, and that’s when awards and prizes are given out. She said the ability to provide tickets to the drive-in came partly because of the unused money in the budget set aside for the appreciation event.
“(We’re) kind of just dipping into our budget just to show our token of appreciation,” Cruz said. “These teachers have been through a whirlwind of changes, updates and we’re really testing how adaptable our teachers are, and staff, especially the custodial and maintenance staff with getting schools ready and making sure that they keep up with safety measures, and what have you, between days of school.”
The weekend movies are a part of a bigger series of ways DEF wants to show its appreciation to 9-R staff members, she said.
How this worked was an email was sent out to all 9-R employees offering the chance to see either “Groundhog Day” or “The Wizard of Oz” at the drive-in located in the parking lot of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Tickets were offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and Cruz said the response was huge.
“Within minutes, I was receiving emails and phone calls and text messages from staff just saying, ‘Thank you, I’ve been wanting to go,’ and ‘You’re really making it possible,’” she said. “The best part is giving all of 9-R staff some relief and downtime to just enjoy something.”