December 2016 Around Town 2

Romance Takes the Stage at Thunder River Theatre

In December, Thunder River Theatre Company (TRTC) presents a delightful romantic comedy. “The Last Romance” tells the story of Ralph and Carol, widowers with untold secrets from the past, who meet unexpectedly at a New Jersey dog park. Ralph attempts to woo the elegant-but-distant Carol, navigates his doting sister’s jealousy and tries to tolerate Carol’s dog, Peaches, who reminds him of a “rat that can bark”. Along the way, the audience enjoys a number of famous opera arias sung by Ralph, who was an aspiring opera singer as a young man.

Mike Monroney has directed a cast that includes locals Wendy Perkins (Carol), Willie Mosely (Ralph), Chip Winn Wells (Ralph’s sister, Rose) and classically-trained baritone, Chris Casketta (as the younger Ralph). Then there’s Peaches. Three different dogs play this character: “Sparkles” is the pet of a local resident. The other two canine actors have been provided by our local Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) shelter. TRTC’s Executive Artistic Director Corey Simpson explains, “My partner and I adopted both of our dogs from CARE and this is such a special opportunity to tell a heartwarming story while also creating more visibility for Jim Calaway’s fabulous shelter. The CARE dogs will be getting lots of love from the actors, crew and audience. Hopefully, we can find folks to give some of our four-legged friends a new home in time for the holidays.”

The production previews December 8 and runs through December 24. (See Lifestyle calendar for dates.) Some shows will be followed by CARE adoption events. The show will also be presented at Snowmass Chapel January 20, 21, 27 and 28. Tickets, times and details at

Party at Sunlight – Save the Dates!

The Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort’s 50th birthday is this season, and lots of fun events are planned. Party down with Sunlight and Bighorn Toyota as they celebrate Birthday Bash Weekend! On Saturday, December 17, Bighorn will give away a pair of Limited Edition 50th Anniversary skis designed by Meier Skis. Then Sunlight will give away a snowboard during halftime of the Broncos game on Sunday, December 18. (You can enter the drawing early by taking a test drive at Bighorn Toyota.) On Saturday, the first 50 people in line at the Tercero Lift will receive free doughnuts from Sweet Coloradough, and season pass holders can cash in on a 50-percent food and beverage discount. All weekend long, Sunlight will be offering free ski and snowboard demos, plus kids can take a run (and a selfie) with Santa.

Sunlight’s annual Skier Appreciation Day, a benefit for United Way Battlement to the Bells, will be held on Friday, January 7. Save the date because you can ski all day for just $20 and contribute to a worthy local cause. The day will feature free après-ski music from the Steve Skinner Band and plenty of tie-dye. There will be prize drawings for skis, a snowboard, and other great prizes. And the skier sporting the best costume that day will walk away with a free 2017-8 season pass!

Salvation Army Bell Ringing

This month, bells will ring out at City Market stores, Clark’s Market and Walmart as local Salvation Army volunteers raise funds for our neediest neighbors. Local Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs are helping to organize this yearly project and they encourage you to volunteer. City Market stores will host bell ringers through Christmas Eve, and volunteers will fill the familiar red kettles throughout the holiday season at Walmart in Glenwood Springs and Rifle. Volunteers are needed to ring bells at Clark’s Market in Parachute. To sign up, contact Karen Lee at the Salvation Army’s Glenwood Springs office, 970.945.6976.

New Property Shop Website Provides Property Search Options

The Property Shop, Inc. recently launched an updated website, Among the site’s features are user-friendly tools that allow visitors to better search for Colorado homes that are on the market. These tools draw information directly from the comprehensive MLS (multiple listing service). Users can search with standard, advanced and map-based options or draw on maps to create user-defined results.

Both locals and those thinking about relocating to the area are encouraged to take advantage of the site’s complementary resources and tools. Whether you are currently thinking of buying or selling, The Property Shop is ready to assist you online or in person.

Homecoming King Oliver Harrington’s Touchdown

Oliver Harrington ran for a touchdown during the October 21st Basalt High School Varsity Football game. A senior, Harrington is confined to a wheelchair, but has been on the Basalt Football team since middle school. Oliver was born with medical challenges and has multiple physical disabilities. He doesn’t walk, but gives inspiration and moral support to his football teammates from the sidelines and in the locker room. In most home games, spectators see Oliver driving his electric wheelchair at six miles an hour to retrieve the “T” from the field after kickoffs.

On their workout shirts, team members wear a motto that Oliver lives by: “You may see me struggle, but you will never see me quit.” Harrington has raised approximately $2,000 selling those T-shirts for the Basalt High School Booster Club, and in October, he was crowned Homecoming King. In the words of Homecoming Queen Carsyn Knotts, Homecoming Queen, “Oliver is such a big part of our class we all wanted him to be the King.”

Dental Health Alliance Celebrates Oral Health Champions

In October, the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance (APDHA) recognized four Oral Health Champions. All of them have been instrumental in helping APDHA to create a comprehensive dental health system that enables residents of Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties to have dental education, prevention and access to care. Formed to address the lack of affordable dental health care in the region, APDHA sponsors a Smiles for Students program. In 2015, it served 1,650 students in 21 schools, providing education, oral health evaluation, dental cleanings, fluoride varnishes, and sealants for children in second, third, sixth and seventh grades. APDHA’s Smiles for Seniors program provides similar dental services for seniors 60 and over.

APDHA recognized Dr. Matthew Burt of All Kids Dental for extraordinary service in pediatric dentistry. All Kids Dental is the only pediatric dental practice in the APDHA’s three-county region and serves more than 8,500 children per year. APDHA also honored three board members. Since the nonprofit’s inception, they have provided leadership, program development and sweat equity. Barbara Sullan, a retired registered dental hygienist, and Liz Stark, director of Community Health Services-Pitkin County Public Health, were instrumental in organizing APDHA and in developing its programs. Sandy Swanson made oral health a priority for pregnant mothers and children, helping to start APDHA’s Cavity-Free at Three program.

Winterlight Festival Takes Place January 7

Save the date for the third annual Winterlight Festival, hosted by the Glenwood Springs Mountain Lions Club. The fun takes place Saturday on January 7th from 4 to 8 p.m. A chili cook-off will be held at the First United Methodist Church. There’s a Bag Toss Tournament at the Glenwood Springs Library. Then there’s music, hot cocoa, family games, a theme basket drawing and a hay ride on Cooper Street between 8th and 9th.

Tickets for the Chili Cookoff can be purchased from any Lions Club member or at the door. The cost is $5 per individual or $10 per family. Come vote for your favorite chili!

Proceeds from the Winterlight Festival support vision services and Lions scholarships throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.