What started as a story about the DeColores Civitan Club has become a hybrid that includes the Big Brothers Big
Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser.
But first, the Civitans. (This is my first Civitan story in the almost 10 years of writing Neighbors, and I'm
psyched!) Founded in 1990, the club is small but energetic. About 14 members lend their manpower to collaborations
with other nonprofits. They meet Tuesdays at noon at Francisco's Restaurante y Cantina, but members who can't always
make it to meetings are welcome to keep up via e-mail minutes and still work on projects.
The group donates time to a variety of groups. For the U.S. Forest Service, it cleans up the visitors' area and
trailhead at Andrews Lake every June. Because the international Civitan organization's goal is to help people with
disabilities, the group works with Special Olympics and has built more than one wheelchair ramp over the years.
While working with the American Cancer Society, Civitan members for many years have served breakfast as dawn breaks
at Relay for Life. They recently helped create a kickoff for the relay called Give and Taste, which is geared toward
inspiring people to sign up and start building teams.
On Saturday, the group will hold its monthly gig of handing out orders at the Foodshare Project, which allows
families to buy groceries at a discount of about 25 percent off retail. This year, it will award its first
scholarship, a Trio book scholarship that goes to first-generation college students through Educational Talent Search
at Fort Lewis College.
Just last Friday, members helped with the setup of Del Alma's World Children's Fair, along with fielding a team for
the Big Brothers Big Sisters bowling fundraiser. (They also serve up dessert at BBBS's annual summer picnic.)
Now, to Bowl for Kids Sake. This year, for the first time, the Archuleta County BBBS also was involved. Rolling
Thunder Lanes was a great host, welcoming 80 teams to its facility. Christy Schaerer, executive director of
BBBS, said it was so much easier than the years when La Plata County was without a bowling alley and the BBBS staff
had to cart hay, sweep up and manually set up pins.
Pledge money still is coming in, so no official count on dollars raised is in yet. But Schaerer is optimistic they
are close to their goal of $45,000 in La Plata County and hopeful to be close to the $20,000 goal for Archuleta
In the meantime, my thanks go to Janet Oliver for the scoop on DeColores Civitan Club. If you are interested
in learning more about the club or joining, call Lon Erwin at 247-1019.
Spring showers will mark the birthdays of Beverly Darmour, Ruth Cole, Janet Enge, Joseph
Toledo, Mary Brown, Jim Robertson, Joan Brown, Glenn Rodey, Virginia
Rohr, Shirley Drover, Mary Marugg, Dana Siekman, Joyce Watt, Kevin
Swinderman, Jack Kloepfer, Cyd Peterson and Mary Pye.
Very special birthday greetings go to my predecessor, Sally Morrissey, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.
I don't cover the cops and courts" beat for the Herald - that honor falls to my colleague Shane
Benjamin. But just like all of you, I'm interested in public safety and criminal justice. Those were the themes
for the March 12 Leadership La Plata class, which was held at the SunUte Community Center.
Kip Koso was the moderator, and Janet Mosher and Martha Johnson organized the day's activities.
Throughout the day, they gave the class toys and handouts from the Durango Police Department and Durango Fire &
Rescue Authority, concluding with toy fire hats at the end of the day.
The morning began with a public-safety panel that included Holly Landgren, resident agent in charge of the
Durango office of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Carl Smith, deputy
director of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Department of Justice and Regulatory; Rita Warfield, patrol sergeant
with the DPD; and Larry Behrens, chief of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District. They provided information
about their agencies and how leadership skills are used in their daily activities.
During the morning break, Koso (Class of 2002-2003) coordinated a quick Rock, Paper, Scissors" tournament. After
getting their blood flowing, class members spent 45 minutes discussing their homework, a ride-along" with a local
public safety agency. Agencies that provided the opportunity included the Bayfield Marshal's Office, DFRA, Durango/La
Plata Emergency Communications Center, DPD and the Ignacio Police Department.
Every class member walked away from the ride-along with great respect for the challenges these committed public
servants face, and many want to spend more time with their respective agencies.
Southern Ute Indian Court Chief Judge Elaine Newton was the host for a tour of the court facilities at the
Southern Ute Justice Complex. Class members learned about the tribal courts' emphasis on wellness and healthy social
connections because the goal of the court is not only to serve justice, but also to strengthen tribal members and the
Southern Ute community.
She and class members also discussed the history of laws and court processes in Indian Country.
Tami Graham worked with the class on how to effectively run meetings after they enjoyed a delicious lunch of
enchiladas from Julie's El Amigo.
Because adults are out of practice of sitting in class all day, Koso gave them a second recess," a short game of
indoor soccer using the wonderful facilities at the SunUte Community Center.
The day's learning ended with a panel on criminal justice in La Plata County. The panel included Harlene
Russell, executive director of La Plata Youth Services; Tom Harms, probation supervisor with the 6th
Judicial District Probation Department; Southern Ute Tribal Court Judge Scott Moore; John Schmier, director of Hilltop House Community Corrections Center; and Justin Bogan, head of the Durango Public Defender
Office. Of course, everyone had different insights that come from their respective roles within the criminal-justice
system. It was a broad-lens look at the wide diversity of people who are involved, even peripherally, in criminal
justice in our community, whether as defendant, victim, witness or friends of those who are.
He's not listed in the phone book, so the search is on for Aaron Shipps. In 1992, as part of his work toward
achieving Eagle Scout status, Shipps instigated Boulder's first Vietnam Memorial. Now, a group is working on a
descendant of Shipps' project and would like to honor him at its inauguration May 29. Organizers were unable to find
family or phone contact information in Boulder and understand that he is now, or has, lived in Durango.
Can anyone there help?" Roland Sharette asked in an e-mail. He should be about 35 years old now. He must have been
a helluva kid to accomplish what he did. I've read his story in old issues of the
Daily Camera here, and he deserves to be recognized."
If you are Shipps or know where he is, please contact Sharette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Showers and flowers will celebrate the anniversaries of Bill and Pam Brown, John and Vi
Kessell, Gordon and Diane Calfas Cheesewright, Tim and Diane Williams, Ace and
Mary Lou Hall, John and Denise Krispin and William and Tuula Bader.
For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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