Mountain Middle School students got down and dirty when it came time to raise money for a new program at the school.
The program, called the Intersession, is a week-long immersion into a subject, which could be anything from cooking to water science to ancestral Puebloan studies. It was developed by High Tech High, which is the model for Mountain Middle School’s project-based learning. Mountain Middle School teachers are currently finalizing the Intersession curriculum.
Deciding to make the fundraiser action-based, organizers challenged the students to gather pledges based on how many laps the students managed to complete. And it wasn’t just laps around a track but an obstacle course featuring an Army crawl, a zigzag course, balance beams, crawling through pipes and, for the finale, a climbing wall courtesy of the Rock Lounge.
The 175 or so students ran a total of 2,225 laps at the American Ninja Challenge, with the sixth graders winning the coveted ninja trophy.
Awards were also given for the best go-getter money raisers. In the sixth grade, they were Ella Stevens ($250), Lillian Lacy ($222) and Zane Baumchen ($200). Seventh-graders Catalina Shirley ($330), Grady James ($140) and Logan Zick ($130) have bragging rights in their class. The eighth grade’s most persuasive pledge raisers were Marilyn Short ($350), Cecilia Compton ($160) and Quinn Hoover ($135).
Folks from the Durango Fire Protection kicked off the event in style, and Mountain Middle School Director of Student Services Cara Kropp and sixth- grade humanities teacher Todd Macon ran the course first to show the students how it worked. JP Tires loaned them the tires, and McDonald’s provided lemonade to hydrate the young ninjas.
By the end of the day, the students had raised more than $8,000.
The school hopes to make it an annual event as the Intersession course develops.
Joining me in Scorpio celebration this week are Michelle Sylvain, Lana Swearingen, Diane Wildfang, Jesse House, Carolyn Bowra, Kalli Fassett, Michelle Unterberger, Michelle Rabouin, Sharon Mantor, Etoile Hening and Doug Pierce.
Special greetings to one of my favorite ladies, Karren Little.
Kudos to Ann Smith, who’s been painting and exhibiting for almost 40 years, but was recently named “an emerging artist” in Art Business News. Her work will also be featured in a 2015 book tentatively called Watercolor Legends and Masters. Not bad for someone who works sans agent.
“It’s pretty sweet to be called ‘emerging’ rather than ‘fading’ at age 71,” she said with a laugh.
I ran into Smith at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango’s Fall FROLIC, which stands for Fabulous, Rousing, Outrageous, Lively, Ineluctable, Celebratory. You’ve got to love a group that uses “ineluctable” in its title.
It is a hopping event, with a two-phase silent auction, a major live auction and a board auction, the latter of which was organized by Paul Maliszewski. In board dinners, offerings such as John and Aline Schwob’s cioppino (also known as the Italian bouillabaisse), New Orleans in Durango courtesy of Ron and Marilyn Garst, an Indian dinner prepared by professional chef Susan Lomperis, a traditional Danish meal served on Copenhagen china prepared by Allison and Karsten Anderson or Don and Judy Hayes’ evening of tapas and wine have bids going up, up, up as people vie for the limited number of seats.
Bob Griffith and Tom Hafnor kept the bidding lively and fun, while Troy Turner provided entertainment on the keyboard, which was also a nice touch during an auction. Smith, Tom Miller and Bonnie Miller coordinated the cornucopia of donations.
Everyone donated something, it seemed, whether it was an evening of babysitting or knitting lessons, a week’s stay in cabins in La Plata Canyon or at Vallecito ... the sheer variety and generosity of spirit was truly lovely.
A trend I’ve been seeing at events lately is the straightforward “ask,” which is refreshing. Anyone who wants to donate to the Hospice of Mercy Experience, raise your bidding paddle. Or, in the Unitarians’ case, we want to build a new pulpit for the fellowship’s first ever minister, the Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris. Raise your paddle. And boy, did they.
FROLIC included an extravagant buffet of appetizers and desserts, put together by the food committee of Susan Koonce, Lisa McCorry, Smith, Marilyn Garst, Lynn Griffith, Teresa Jordan and Catherine Hines.
I wish I had space to include all the names, but suffice it to say, it takes a village to throw a fundraiser like this, led by Aline Schwob and Bonnie Miller, but with people volunteering for everything from set-up to clean-up, technology support, managing the beer and wine table, and selling tickets.
The fellowship will allocate 10 percent of the funds raised to a social justice cause; update the two bathrooms to make one compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the other family-friendly; install a new fence to make the playground safer for the youngest fellowship members; and take on a couple of other upgrading projects as funds allow.
Thanks for the warm hospitality.
If you patronize Durango Public Library, then Lela Boyer touched your life. The ardent Friends of the Public Library volunteer, who donated countless hours to keep the bookstore in the foyer of the library up and running, died far too young of cancer in September.
It’s thanks to the proceeds from the bookstore and book sales that the Friends have been able to contribute almost $80,000 over the past couple of years to provide all kinds of programs and services the library would otherwise not be able to offer.
So Boyer’s friends and colleagues have come up with a great way to honor her contributions. At 5:30 p.m. Friday at the library, they will be renaming the bookstore “Lela’s Place.”
A great way to remember a great lady.
Southwest Colorado’s women bowlers made a great – make that tremendous – showing at the Colorado Senior Women’s Bowling Tournament in Thornton in late October. Six local seniors (50 and older) became state champions at the 34th annual event.
The tournament consists of four events, team, doubles, singles and all events (a total of nine games in all three of the other events), with 67 teams in contention. The first three events are organized in classes determined by the previous year’s averages of each bowler, but the All Events title is classified by age.
Forgive me if I mess something up, but I believe this is how it went:
The Senior Moments Team – Louise White, Janey Silver, Jan Wesley and Hilda Burch – was the state champion as the women took first in their class.
All eyes were on White. The octogenarian was bowling in her 58th straight year at a state tournament, and also took first place in Class 1 for the All Events title and fifth with Silver in the Class 3 Doubles competition. I believe her photo should be next to the definition of “dedication” in the dictionary.
Ignacio resident Burch was the state champion in Class 6, and, with partner Wesley, state champion in doubles in Class 1. Her fellow Ignacio residents Pathimi Goodtracks and Bobbie Sage became the state champions in Class 3 Doubles. Jennifer Goodtracks and Jeannie Cook, also of Ignacio, were third in Class 3 Doubles.
Wesley was fourth in Singles in Class 2.
Whew! Let’s just say that between the weight of the bowling balls and all those trophies, it’s lucky they were able to get over Wolf Creek Pass to come home.
Congratulations to all of you.
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