PIE gives a sweet gift to the Chamber of Commerce

An amazing gift from children at Pagosa Springs Elementary School and the PIE organization — Partners in Education — was delivered to the Chamber last week.

At two class assemblies, I was presented with checks by school Principal Kate Lister on behalf of classes, kindergarten through fourth grade, in the amount of $742.40, for the Chamber’s Twelve Months of Christmas program.

There is a related article explaining PIE and the Twelve Months of Christmas that the Chamber started in December of 2008 elsewhere in The SUN.

One family a month is selected and given assistance with special needs or goods. The money that the children and PIE group donated will assist in purchasing City Market gift cards or other goods. This program is great, in that community members help community members. Businesses donate their services or offer them at a discounted rate. The recipient knows about the generosity of the business and the store will hopefully gain a customer; if the product is not donated, then the business creates a sale.

While the holidays are very important, and we focus on the giving of the season, the Chamber board chose to extend the concept of giving to cover the entire year, and agreed to help out one family a month. Of course, we would not be able to do so without the help of so many businesses in our community. Assisting so far have been Pagosa Candy Company, Liberty Theater, Boss Hogg’s Restaurant, the Humane Society Thrift Store, Upscale Resale, McDonald’s, Pagosa Pregnancy Center, The Outfitter, The Spa at Pagosa Springs, Piedra Automotive, Edelweiss, Goodman’s and Ski and Bow Rack. City Market gift cards are also purchased and included every month to assist with grocery or gas needs.

Each elementary grade had a particular math homework or extra credit assignment that, when completed, brought them “bonuses.” This money was collected, then donated to the Twelve Months of Christmas.

Special thanks go to PIE chair Melissa Bailey and the math teachers involved: Mr. Galabota, kindergarten; Ms. Moore, first grade; Ms. Pierce, second grade; Ms. Halverson, third grade; and Mrs. Buckley, fourth grade. We plan to tell the children how their contributions assisted families in our community. We will let them know how many families and children they helped, and where their money actually went.

This was a very humbling experience, and we are grateful to the PIE group for spearheading this award project, as well as involving our children and teaching them to “give back” to the community at such a young age.

Easter Egg hunt

Get the children ready for the frenzy of searching for candy and Easter eggs at the third annual Pagosa Springs Easter Egg Hunt. It will be held 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Sports Complex on South 5th Street.

The hunt is free and the afternoon will be filled with fun, candy, games and some surprises. P.S. Just for Fun and Pagosa Candy Company are the hosts at the event. You can call the Chamber at 264-2360 for more information, or just come out to the park. Bring your baskets!

Amazing Race

On Monday afternoon, April 6, Phil Keoghan, host of the popular TV show The Amazing Race, will ride into Pagosa, stay over, then continue his trek across America. Keoghan is riding across America to raise funds as well as awareness concerning Multiple Sclerosis. “Biking makes sense,” he states, as MS often severely inhibits the ability of victims to move easily, or at all. This ride will promote the need for the public to keep active and mobile and emphasize the concept of cycling as a way to improve health, as well as reduce traffic and carbon emissions.

Multiple Sclerosis currently has no cure and produces myriad and unpredictable problems such as blurry vision, difficulty moving or walking — much less riding a bike. The funds raised will go to MS research, as well as to programs to help meet the needs of people living with MS today.

Members of the Pagosa Springs Wheel Club will ride with Phil up to Wolf Creek Pass on Tuesday morning, April 7. There will be several break stations along the way. A breakfast has been scheduled in Town Park, provided by the Kiwanis Club, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and lasting until about 9 when Phil is expected to leave to continue his ride. The public is encouraged to cheer Keoghan as he rides into town with the Durango Wheel Club on Monday afternoon. Gather your school class or non-profit organization or, if you have a business along U.S. 160, let the staff out to welcome him. If you are unable to cheer him into town, come to Town Park and encourage him as he continues his 100 mile per day trip. Donations will be accepted for the breakfast and given to Phil Keoghan’s MS Ride Across America cause.

If you would like more information, call the Chamber at 264-2360, check out the related article in The SUN, and listen to KWUF as the Amazing Race’s host honors Pagosa with a stopover. You can also go onto Phil’s Web site, www.philridesacrossamerica.com to follow his route, progress and find out more about the ride and this important cause.

AEDA luncheon

On Friday, April 17, the Archuleta Economic Development Association will host its fourth annual meeting. This year’s event will be an exciting gathering, complete with a panel of economic experts from our region and our state.

Dr. Richard Wobbekind with the Office of Economic Development for the state of Colorado, Clarke Becker with the Rural Development Association, and Joe Keck with the Small Business Development Association at Fort Lewis College will participate on the panel.

Topics such as “What can we do as a community to ensure we continue to have a thriving economy,” and “What should a business owner do to be profitable in these uncertain economic times” and much more will be discussed. Members of the audience will be able to ask questions of the panel members.

You can purchase a table for six for $300, or single tickets for $55 — $60 if you are not an AEDA member. Attend this important meeting and find out what is planned for Archuleta County, how can we best progress and succeed together, and get some helpful tips on what you can do to further your business interests these days. For more information, or to reserve a table, call Bart Mitchell at 731-1443.

Membership

We have several new members to welcome aboard this week.

We start out with a neighboring shuttle service providing runs to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley area, Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque. Right now, there are no Durango Airport runs. Twin Hearts Express has been servicing the Pagosa area for years, but is now a Chamber member. Reservations are required and the prices are available by calling Twin Hearts at (800) 654-9456. The service includes clean, comfortable vans with scheduled pickup times. This is just another option allowing you or family members to get to airports or neighboring tourism sites.

We have the Democrats — now we welcome the Republican Party of Archuleta County. This group provides an opportunity to further the principles of the Republican Party. I’m sure they’ll be having fund-raising or informational gatherings to create more awareness. If you need questions answered in the meantime, call Robin Schiro or John Bozek at 264-4120.

Our renewals this week include: High Country Lodge; the V.A. Poma Ranch; Buffalo Trading Post; Airport Self-Storage; and Margie Hollingsworth, licensed professional counselor.

Event tickets

Music in the Mountains tickets go on sale Monday, April 6, at the Chamber. Seating is reserved in the tent at BootJack Ranch, so stop by and select your seat early. Tickets for all the performances will be available. Cash, check or credit cards are accepted. The office opens at 8 a.m. and staff will be available to assist you.

The Pagosa Springs High School will perform the musical classic, “West Side Story,” on April 14, 16, 17 and 18. All performances begin at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium. The show includes more than 40 performers as well as a full orchestra. Don’t forget to pick up your tickets.


Photo courtesy Kimberley Siler
Debbie Moore’s first-grade math class at Pagosa Springs Elementary School presented the Chamber of Commerce 12 Months of Christmas program with $125.90 during an assembly at the school last week. A total of $742.40 was raised for the program by students in grades K-4.