One of the things that has kept Durango a real community - and one of the things that makes me most proud of my
hometown - is a commitment to volunteering. Whether the cause is feeding the hungry, housing the homeless or
supplying glasses so others can see, everyone does his or her share.
A woman who has done more than her share is Carol Salomon. Ever since she and her now husband, Norman Broad, moved to Durango 12 years ago, Salomon has been active, and one of causes closest to
her heart is the Women's Resource Center.
The reason is simple - as a single working mother, she could have benefited from an agency like the center that has
programs that support women and in turn their families." She owned an interior landscaping company that provided
plants and maintenance to businesses in St. Louis before moving to Durango.
At a reception for donors and volunteers Nov. 18 at the Rochester Hotel, she was surprised with the WRC's Volunteer
of the Year Award for 2009.
From 2000 to 2002, Salomon served as the fund-development chairwoman of the WRC's board of directors, but she has
been active as, what WRC Executive Director Liz Mora calls, a one-woman support system for the
center" for more than a decade.
She continues to support the fundraising efforts of the WRC, soliciting donations and volunteering for special
events. Salomon also started the center's Tribute Fund that accepts contributions made in honor or memory of another.
Most recently, Salomon was a key player in the organization of the first Girls Night Out: Extraordinary Women
Honoring Extraordinary Women, which was held at Blue Lake Ranch in September. More than 220 women attended, raising
more than $20,000 for the WRC's programs.
She has already committed to help with organizing the second annual Girls Night Out, which has already been scheduled
for Sept. 10, 2010. (Mark your calendars - it was a high-energy, inspirational evening.)
I encountered Salomon's passion for the center and the work it does shortly after becoming the Neighbors columnist in
2000. She invited me to lunch at her lovely home with another indefatigable WRC supporter, Debra
Parmenter, to fill me in on all the work the center does. Its mission is to advocate for the personal
empowerment and economic self-sufficiency of women and girls in La Plata County. And women who are empowered and
self-sufficient means their families are thriving, and extrapolated out further, our community is thriving.
When she's not volunteering, Salomon and Broad travel extensively, having journeyed to Africa, Australia, New
Zealand, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and most of the national parks in the United States. Along the way, Salomon collects beads, gems and other materials for her current career as a jewelry designer of one-of-a-kind
necklaces, earrings and bracelets. (Her work is carried by Sorrel Sky Gallery.) They also enjoy spending time with
their five children and nine grandchildren.
Salomon is always gracious, and she certainly exhibited that trait after receiving the award.
She said, In the years I have served the Women's Resource Center, I have gotten so much more than I have given. What
a privilege it is to know someone in need has benefited from our efforts. We are so lucky to be on the giving end."
On behalf of our community, which you have helped so passionately, here are my thanks, Carol. You are an inspiration.
Blowing out birthday candles on pumpkin pie are Shiann Homer, Darryl Hunt, Karen Siegrist, KathieHudson, Hazel
Robison, Cindy Atchison, Ryan Waggoner, Brandon Engle, Tierney Skahill, MaryDowney, Ruth Guarino, Amanda Araujo, Ernie Shock, Diane Higgins, Wilma
DeNier, Jessica Somsen, Caroline Tidwell, Elise Tidwell, Alison Epstein, Chris Erickson, Nancy Loftis, Len
Hahl, Nancy Shipps, Barbara Elliott, Tabitha Heckmanand
Let me just say, Wow - make that a double Wow! for Alternative Horizons' Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes: A
Held at the Henry Strater Theatre on Saturday and Sunday evenings, the event was a lot of fun - far more than
anything the crowd expected. I've never seen anything like it in Durango - or anywhere, for that matter - and can't
wait to see what they do for the sequel promised for next year.
A number of local artists had created shoes and boots that were available at the silent auction. I personally coveted
the ones Maureen May designed using a papier-mâché technique with a paper fan and beads, but there
were all kinds of variations, including sequined gems and boots that would stop traffic.
With the saying Life is short, buy the shoes," posted around the theater, women took them up on it, also bidding on
jewelry, spa treatments and a wide variety of vintage saris that made their stage début in the India section of the
show. All of that bidding meant that as of Monday, the proceeds were at $20,000 and counting.
It took the work of scores of volunteers to make it a success.
Craig Bull of Avabella Spa and Salon and Cassidy Cabot had choreographed numbers
that showed off the models and the merchandise in an artistic, dramatic way. The music was hopping, the theme was
addressed in a variety of ways and the audience was ready to have fun.
You know me, I like scores of names in bold - the better to entice you, dear reader - but with 30 models, about that
many donors - including platinum sponsor the Brennan Family and Brennan Oil, Inc. - and double that in silent-auction
donors, there is no space.
Let's just say everyone was on, from the line dancers in the western numbers to the accessory models. Special kudos
go to Durango City Councilor Michael Rendon, who brought both his Western gunslinger and Bond, James Bond," to the stage.
Merchants There's No Place Like Home, Antiquities Market/Jane Gould, Eureka, Appaloosa Trading Co., Kelly's Cowboy Co., Silk Sparrow, Second time Around (with JoAnne Wilson and Aisylin
Brennan, who also modeled) and From the Heart used the occasion as a chance to support the community, not
just show off their merchandise.
Artists Barbara Tobin-Klema, Julie Klema, Deb Gorton, Mary
Ellen Long, Amy Valcar-Felker, Sandra Butler and
Jules Masterjohn created a recycled section that was offbeat and interesting.
Of course, the effort was all to support AH, which provides crisis services, advocacy, legal assistance, education
and support groups for the victims and survivors of domestic violence. Support in English and Spanish is available.
In these tough economic times, families are under even more stress, and domestic violence is a growing problem.
AH's work is more important than ever.
If you would like to support AH, tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Alternative Horizons, P.O. Box 503, Durango, CO 81302.
If you don't feel like cooking or want to join the community in celebration of the day, the Community Thanksgiving
Dinner is on again from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday.
As we count our multitude of blessings this Thanksgiving Day, my faithful readers and those of you who have trusted
me to tell your stories are at the top of my list. Here's wishing all of my readers and joyful day of Thanksgiving.
My apologies go to Hope Espinosa for leaving her out of the list of organizers in the story about
the Aid, Comfort and Support AIDS Benefit, which was held Nov. 7. I was writing down the acknowledgments as fast as I
could and somehow didn't get her name on the list.
These folks will celebrate their anniversaries with turkey and all the fixin's and their families around the table -
Scottand Cece Sallee, Billand Susan Hermesman, Haland Vivian Emerich, Boband Wilma DeNier, Boband Linda Gramera, Danand Mary Howelland
Wayneand Vickie Hose.
For information on upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
Here's how to reach me: neighbors@durangoherald.
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