Red Ball Express is back. This unique local fundraising event occurs Feb. 7 at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort, and a $5 ticket could win you as much as $5,000.
Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank for the sixth consecutive year, Red Ball Express is a joint fundraiser for the four Rotary Clubs in La Plata County and for 10 local nonprofits.
Red Ball Express pumps nearly $30,000 into good causes in our community each year. In addition to Wells Fargo Bank, this year's sponsors are Travelhost Magazine of Four Corners, Four Corners Broadcasting, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Momentum Energy Group and Durango Joe's.
For each $5 ticket you can adopt two red exercise balls. Each ball is numbered, so every ticket purchased is assigned a unique two-ball combination.
At 4 p.m. Feb., 7, all adopted balls will roll down a course on the slopes of Purgatory. The first two balls to complete the course win that ticket holder $5,000. The second two balls win that ticket holder $2,000 and the third two balls win $1,000.
Local nonprofit organizations and the four Rotary Clubs in La Plata County all benefit from the Red Ball Express ticket sales. Ticket sales support projects such as dictionaries for all third-grade students in 9-R schools; a pre-school building for children in Bayfield; scholarships for low-income families to the Boys and Girls Club; disaster relief preparation for local incidents; firewood delivery to local seniors; college scholarships for local youths; and support services for survivors of sexual assault.
Ski teams also are being recruited for a NASTAR ski race at Purgatory on the day of Red Ball Express. Trophies will be awarded to teams and individuals. Call 884-0230 to learn more.
Red Ball Express tickets are available through any La Plata County Rotarian, at Durango Joe's or via Red Ball Express' website. Visit www.durangoredball.com and click on "Tickets." Additionally, this year's 10 nonprofit partners are all selling tickets. Contact any of these groups to support their efforts and give yourself the chance to win as much as $5,000 cash:•Adaptive Sports Association, 259-0374, www.asaduran go.org.
•American Red Cross Southwest Colorado Chapter, 259-5383, www.swcoloradored cross.org.
- Bayfield Early Education Programs, 884-7137.
- Boys and Girls Clubs of La Plata County, 375-0100, www.bgclaplata.org.
- Community Connections Inc., 259-2464, www.cci-col orado.org.
- Durango Adult Education Center, 385-4354, www.duran goaec.org.
- Durango Friends of the Arts, 247-9264.
- Durango Performing Arts Center, 749-4445.
- Rotaract Club, 719-229-1088.
- Sexual Assault Services Organization, 259-3074, www.durangosaso.org.
Red Ball Express invites you to come to Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort on Feb. 7 to get in a day of skiing, participate in the NASTAR ski race, then watch the balls roll down the hill and root for yours to win. Someone will walk away with $5,000.
Tim Walsworth is the president and CEO for United Way of Southwest Colorado and a member of the Durango High Noon Rotary Club.