It was a day the community grieved and gave thanks - Feb. 22, 2008, when three businesses burned and nine
firefighters were injured. We grieved the hole that represented historic buildings destroyed and gave thanks that no
one had died.
A year later, Seasons Rotisserie & Grill, one of the businesses destroyed that day, reopened to much rejoicing.
And this year, on the two-year anniversary of the fire, Seasons owners Wayne and Karen Barger wanted to
give back to all of those who had helped them on that day.
So they dedicated the profits from an evening's meals to The Hundred Club, which helps the families of those in
public safety who are injured or killed. In addition to Seasons' regular talented chefs, Roger Hayes of
Wachovia and Brad Caskey were guest chefs. Joe Leder, who owns Durango Liquor and Animas Wine &
Spirits and PJ's Gourmet Market, served as a guest bartender for the evening, which the Bargers want to make an
As is traditional at Hundred Club events, a fire boot was passed for additional contributions to the cause. That
brought in about $600. Seasons, which served 210 meals - the same as a busy summer evening - will give an additional
$2,000 to $2,500 to help the club with its mission.
When tragedy strikes, The Hundred Club is there, check in hand, within 72 hours. The money matters, but it is the
emotional support that often makes the biggest difference.
I recently witnessed a powerful example of what support provided by The Hundred Club of Durango truly means to
law-enforcement and emergency-service personnel in our area "">¼" Lt. Dan Bender with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office wrote in the most recent club
newsletter. The money was a godsend, to be sure. But it was more than that. It was the realization that there are
people in the community, people he had never met, who were there for him and his family in their time of need."
The Hundred Club doesn't hold fundraisers on its own - the money it disperses comes from the membership dues of $100
(or more) paid annually, invested wisely and kept somewhat liquid so the club can move fast when needed.
In recent years, the club also has begun giving scholarships to Fort Lewis College to students whose parents have
been killed in the line of duty, so the club continues to look after families long after they have suffered such a
While the group was happy the community did not lose any of its finest in 2009, it is grieving for founder Doug
Morrison and longtime board member Bill Mashaw, both of whom died in 2009. Morrison decided to found the
club after the devastating fire of August 1974, when six buildings in the middle of the 900 block of Main Avenue were
destroyed, where the Main Mall now stands. Police Officer Gale Emerson and firefighter Nick Parks were
killed in the arson-started blaze.
In 2009, the group was happy to be able to help a sheriff's deputy who lost his home in a fire.
The president of The Hundred Club is Don Mapel, Jasper Welch is vice president, Steve Short
heads up the Finance Committee, Dean Brown recruits new members, Bobby Lieb organizes The Hundred
Club's annual banquet, and Debra Parmenter leads the Scholarship Committee. Other board members include
Mickey Hogan, Richard Ballantine, Patti Zink, Kellie Hotter, Joe Colgan, Dianne Andrews, Denny Ehlers, Michael McLachlan, Jeff Murray, Jerry
Martinez and Jim Sheppard.
If you would like to become a member of The Hundred Club of Durango, send your check for $100 or more to the club at
P.O. Box 3146, Durango, CO 81302. More information is available online at www.durango100club.org.
The whole town is on spring break for this cornucopia of birthday celebrants - Donna Edwards, Reba
Warren, Grace Meyer, Jamie Pannell, Alyssa Maisel, Annette Cooper, Kit
Kaufman, Bill Krause, Devin Henry, Lane Salazar, Ben Black, Robert Cossey, Claire Paul, Virginia Joyce, Leontine Bender, Sari Brown, Janet Holligan, Kyle
Kindle, Lilly Tichi, Sebastian Barstatis, Kathleen Johnson, Zachary Ottman, Linda
Heaton, Susie Fisher, Joe Weigman, Gary Somsen, Reid Ortiz, Emery Serene
Miller, Caelyn Colsman, Sophie Fortenot, Finley Leininger, Cameron Clarkson, Madeline Robertson, Nathan Gain, Ricky Cooksey, Richard Kael Edwards, Lynda
Morris, Kim Hobby, Haley Fleming, Lauri Kloepfer. Helen Leonardelli, Marci
Wait, Art Cahill, Kirk Dignum, Rhonda Messier, Dora Edgerton, Elizabeth
Kringel, Dee Stites, Catherine Jones, Keith Messier, Marty Schank, Teresa
Jordan, Bud Halldorson and John Gerhart.
In La Plata County, all the heavy snow that fell this winter and froze led to complaints about icy roads and
shoveling, shoveling, shoveling. But on the Navajo Reservation, most areas received from 5 to 6 feet that third week
in January, with higher elevations getting even more from the second storm that came through.
That snow meant more than icy roads to the Navajos, it threatened lives and livelihoods because those who eke out a
living with livestock, particularly in the many remote areas of the reservation, found it impossible to struggle, often for miles, through high snow, to feed their sheep, cattle and goats. Many ranchers went days without being able
to check on their animals.
Nelson Roanhorse St. Michael, who formerly worked for the San Juan National Forest, noticed that while there
were good emergency services happening for human beings on the reservation, no one was looking out for the livestock.
So he contacted Laura Stransky, who went to work at the Forest Service the year after he left, to see if she
could help. Stransky, no stranger to good works through her membership at Christ the King Lutheran Church, put the
word out, seeking cross country skis and snowshoes to make travel possible.
The response was quick, she said, coming from folks in the community at large as well as from the Forest Service and
the Bureau of Land Management. Local businesses like Backcountry Experience also stepped up to the plate.
One elderly gentleman wanted to donate some skis from his storage shed but was too ill to go dig them out. So
Stransky and her two exchange students, Antony Kuo, who spent last year at Durango High School and is
finishing his freshman year at Fort Lewis College this year, and Tong Wang from China, dug their way out to
the shed themselves.
About 30 pairs total of skies and snowshoes were donated, and Roanhorse St. Michael says they are all being put to
We certainly have some talented young people in our community. Kim Farrell, Miller Middle School choir
teacher, said two of her students were selected to represent Durango and Colorado as part of the Southwest Division
of American Choral Directors Association Honor Choirs at their convention in Denver over the weekend of Feb. 27-28.
The two students were eighth-grader Isabella Bussian and sixth-grader Kathryn Farrell. Both students
submitted auditions by CD and were chosen to be members of the 7-8-9 choir and 4-5-6 choir respectively. Hundreds of
auditions were submitted for the 180 positions in each choir from Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
About 40 of the 180 students in the honors middle school choirs were from Colorado.
Each honor choir was conducted by an internationally known composer and director. The 4-5-6 choir was led by Henry
Leck of Butler University and artistic director of the Indianapolis Children's Choir. Rollo Dillworth of Temple
University in Philadelphia conducted the 7-8-9 choir. Dillworth also composed the finale piece and conducted all 356
fourth- through 12th-grade singers in the premiere of an eight-part African-American spiritual called Daniel."
Congratulations go out to Isabella and Kathryn - and their teacher, Farrell.
This is a mea culpa to Lauren Patterson and Cathy Cray. In my column Feb. 27, I mistakenly said
Patterson was the adult leader of the Beaver Creek 4-H Club. Cray is the overall leader, and Patterson leads the
Snow is melting, and the sun is shining for the anniversaries of Michael and Cherie Cobb, Larry
and Elizabeth Crawford, Dan and Joni Bender, Jim and Carol Lewin, Kevin and Trina Martin, Cliff and Marilyn Summers and Miles and Cheryl
For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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