By Jan Santopietro
Special to The PREVIEW
The Archuleta County Education Center (ACEC) would like to thank those who attended and/or purchased items at the inside garage sale on Nov. 3. Close to $7,000 has been raised from the sale in support of Pagosa Springs’ newest early childhood center targeted to open its doors in the fall of 2019 for toddlers and preschoolers ages 1-5 years old.
There are still items at the Greenhouse that need to find a good home. Items can be purchased, but in the spirit of collaboration, cooperation and support, the ACEC is offering these items free of charge to all Archuleta County nonprofit organizations. Go to www.theacec.com to view the remaining items and then email Jan Santopietro at email@example.com to schedule an appointment to view/pick up items.
The ACEC knows that it takes a collaborative effort to provide quality early childhood programs, so proceeds from the sale will be added to the funding received from our local governments, grants and matching funds from generous donors.
Of course, the ACEC gladly accepts monetary donations. Since the ACEC qualifies for the Colorado Child Care Contribution Tax Credit program, donors can claim a tax credit of up to 50 percent of their donation on their Colorado tax form.
Visitors to the sale gained a better understanding of the early childhood project by walking through the old restaurant and studying preliminary floor and site plans that were posted at the entrance.
They asked questions and were excited about the vision, the mission and the effort to increase much-needed early childhood care and education programs in Archuleta County. Others talked about the possibility of employment or volunteer opportunities once the center opened. Real connections and genuine interest in the ACEC’s project were apparent. There’s nothing like talking with people face to face.
But it didn’t stop there. We heard humorous and heartwarming stories from people who spent time at the Greenhouse Restaurant back in the day: working at the restaurant, dining there every Friday night, requesting a specific table to gaze at the plants and sitting at the bar to gaze at the view out the northeast windows.
One gentleman met a woman at the restaurant for a blind date — they married and are still together after 20 years. People loved walking out the door with an item from their past. They loved knowing the building would, once again, be used for something special. Through this experience, the ACEC gained a better understanding of the community and why it is so extraordinary. There’s nothing like talking with people face to face.
By Jan Santopietro