A favorite summer pastime plus fundraising equals support for our kids though Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado.
I can safely say the organization’s annual Dos Mosca Fly-Fishing Tournament is the only time fishing shows up in Neighbors, which makes it fun to cover. It’s a whopper of a fundraiser to go with being the source of a lot of whoppers about the “one that got away.”
Dos Mosca is a two-day event, one riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to enjoy the upper Animas River, the other on the lower Animas. It took place this year on the first weekend in August.
To forestall corrections from my fellow Spanish speakers, I know that “dos moscas” is the correct Spanish. The title refers to the English fishing term “two-fly,” which means anglers get two flies each day. Lose ‘em, and you’re done for the day, at least competition-wise.
The competitors included 32 anglers on 16 teams. Keith Wegen from Broomfield was the top angler for the second year in a row. That helped his team come in on top, so Team OX – Wegen and Craig Hayward – were gloating all the way home, while some local guys brought the bragging back home by coming in second – the Two Moscateers (great name), also known as Wayne Barger and David Bruzzese.
The event, in its ninth year, started with a barbecue at Mike and Sandy Bruce’s Rancho del Perro Feo. The evening included a live and silent auction and a combination auction/competition called a Calcutta. Attendees bid on who they think will be the top team for the weekend. If the team the bidder picked wins, the bidder wins a nice chunk of change. (I think I got that right – sports fans may find it too simplified, but that’s as much as my brain understands about it.)
Dan Howell, the owner of Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, rightly figured his team wouldn’t catch the big ones and bid on a team that was a known quantity – Team OX – and he was right. Barger bet on his team, so won second place two ways, for fishing and for bidding. Melissa Meyer put her money on Team Los Peces Hermanos, which came in third, made up of Joe Cunningham and Matthew Cunningham. And Mike Bruce, a big time supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, felt pretty confident about his fishing luck and bid on his team. Since Team Los Perros Feo came in fourth, he, too finished in the money. (I let Dos Mosca slip, but it should be Los Perros Feos, guys.)
The event is about more than fishing, it’s about camaraderie and supporting a good cause. They gathered at the Lost Dog Bar & Lounge on the Friday night of the Dos Mosca weekend, finishing with a banquet at Fort Lewis College as the grand finale. Don Oliver served as the master of ceremonies, and having attended this banquet once, I can attest that the stories, both fishy and otherwise, were flowing fast, furiously and hilariously.
This event raises serious moolah every year, and this year was no exception. It grossed $80,660, netting more than $62,900 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado. I’d like to make a little comparison here. The American Cancer Society fundraiser Relay for Life, with 33 teams, some of which had 20 members, grossed a little more than $89,000. Dos Mosca, with 16 teams and 32 people, came within about 10 percent of Relay’s total. Wow.
Top individual fundraisers were Jerry Klauer ($14,760) and Mike Bruce ($12,650), making their Team Los Perros Feo(s) the big fundraiser as well, with a team total of $27,410.
Major kudos go to the organizers, who continue to make this a stellar and memorable event. Committee Chairman Andy Roach, Mike Bruce, Andy Ratcliffe and Graham Smith were a small committee who made a big difference.
A number of sponsors help this event be so successful. Anteing up cash were the Royal Coachman level sponsor ($6,000): El Rancho del Perro Feo (I said the Bruces are big supporters, didn’t I?); and the Wooly Bugger level ($3,000): Joe Bob McGuire, Abbi Munn and John Wells of Western Angling Properties. (Hey, I don’t name ‘em, I just report ’em. In this case, Royal Coachman and Wooly Bugger are fly designs.)
In-kind sponsors were Duranglers, Simms Fishing Products, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the railroad.
Hopefully free from laboring for their birthdays are Wilma Cooper, Heather Lundquist, Bob Houghton, Jane Norton, Justice Tower, Jenny Hancock, Susan Davies, Geri Swingle, Mary Nowotny, Cynthia Cathcart, Pat Emmett, Melanie Taylor, Naomi Griffith, Sam Burns, Stephanie Dial, Chelsey Helling, Barbara Fiddler, John Awe, Matt Mulligan and Bobbie Carll.
Special greetings go to my “Trail Canyon: 6 Miles Long, 10,000 Years Deep” co-author, Bud Poe, who is turning the big “Eight-Oh.”
Writing about the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad reminded me about a serious omission I made in my story about business giving in my nonprofit series. (What can I say? I was delirious trying to keep all the details straight.)
That omission was not including Al and Carol Harper and the railroad on the list of big corporate givers. I see train tickets, train paraphernalia, rides on their private car – which is way, cool, by the way – at virtually every auction I attend. I have no idea what it adds up to in dollars, but with a standard round-trip ticket going for $104, it’s big money.
Throw in the number of nonprofit events held in the Train Museum at a discounted rate or free, the annual first run of the Polar Express that they dedicate to a local nonprofit, and it keeps adding up.
Now I see that the Harpers, along with their grandson Charlie Harper, will be hosting A Grand Dinner to benefit the Powerhouse Science Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30.
Ashley Hein, the center’s event manager, said that just because kids can’t write checks doesn’t mean they can’t help raise money. Charlie is a good case in point.
The event will be some fundraising, of course, but it will also feature the fun of side-by-side experimentation for grandparents and grandchildren. I’m sure parents and children would be equally welcome to come if they want to support the Powerhouse.
Email Hein at email@example.com or call her at 403-1861 to learn more or arrange to attend.
Timing on this item was a bit of a quandary. The business-giving story just ran Tuesday, but the event’s not for a month. And I have learned a lot through much trial and error over almost 15 years of writing Neighbors. Durangoans do not plan ahead, so items about events generally need to run pretty close to an event if they’re going to get people there.
So, just once, prove that adage wrong and contact Hein next week. Please.
This is a crazy busy weekend on our roads. Please pay attention and look both ways several times – for some reason, drivers’ eyes tend to slide right over motorcyclists and cyclists – before making a turn or an entrance onto a road or highway.
Champagne? Check. Roses? Check. Happy Anniversary? Here’s hoping so for these couples – Russell and Lu Leidy and David and Marcy Pugh.
Here’s how to reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 375-4584; mail items to the Herald; or drop them off at the front desk.