Letter to the Editor: Thank you from Galapagos group

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Dear Editor:

I am writing to thank everyone that was able to attend and/or contribute to the Meeker International Ecology Program’s prime rib dinner fundraiser held on Saturday night! The atmosphere was absolutely crammed with generosity and good cheer! The Galápagos ecology students Jose Garcia, Gabriel Richardson, Savvy Mendenhall, Alana Nielsen, Aspen Merrifield, John Hampton Hightower and Hadley Franklin (Mason Holliday was not able to attend due to an honors choir competition), worked hard to host a prime rib dinner event at the Fairfield Center. Matt and Shana Holliday prepared the prime rib dinner along with a lot of help from the other parents. The meal was donated by Elk Creek Ranch, White River Bakery, Watt’s Ranch Market, and Ma Famiglia’s. Evie Chambers, Iris Franklin and Janet Spencer provided the yummy desserts. The dinner was followed by delightful entertainment provided by the Hollidays. Chipper’s and the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council supplied the bar. We are extremely grateful for Meeker Arts and Cultural Council’s willingness to secure the liquor license for the evening and for Rio Blanco County’s consent for us to use the Fairfield Center — thank you for all of your help Bruce Bair!

Thanks to the Rio Blanco Herald Times’ advertisement of our event, and promotion between friends and family, 160 people attended the event. That is approximately 6% of the population of our small town! Silent auction items, donated by local businesses and individuals, were available for bid. Gardner Mendenhall arranged for a helicopter to land nearby to promote Classic Air Medical’s silent auction donation of a scenic helicopter ride. Kelly Sheridan, being brave enough to hand over his checkbook to his brother JH, was the happy winner of the helicopter ride. David Cole donated not just one, but three, scenic flights in his plane! Doug Merrell, Janet Spencer and Chuck Reichert (and families) will be enjoying those plane rides over the Flattops. Other donors included: John Kelley’s Gunsmithing (many people donated funds towards a gift certificate for a gun and the LK Ranch luckily outbid Bailey Franklin); Trail and Hitch Tiny Homes overnight stay (winner Scott Hollenbeck); Erin Musser’s oils and diffuser (winner Joy Allen); Outfitters/Mexican House/Meeker Café/Ma Famiglia’s gift certificates (winner Bev and Rich Meyer); Maym Cunningham art (winner Robyn Blackwood); Pat Daggett art (winner Jody Meakins); Jay Sullivan art (winners Dixie Massey, Martha Cole and Loretta McCoy was the lucky winner of three limited edition prints); Sable Mountain Outfitters pack trip (winner Bailey Franklin); Stanley and Vicki Crawford pig roast (winner Meeker Golf Club); Kirstie Kilduff Photography (winner Meredith Deming); Blanco Cellars and The Little Cheese Shop (winner Peggy Whalin); Erin Sackett’s resin fairies (winner Sarah Jennings) and her fairy light (winner Kay Rizzo); Toby Leavitt’s silver necklace and earrings (winner Jody May) and her beautiful handmade ceramic turtle made especially for this fundraiser (winner Kent Borchard); Iris Franklin’s instant pot (winner Vicki Crawford); Franklin Home-Raised Turkey (winner Bill Pate); Diana French massage (winner Robyn Blackwood); Ute Lodge Old Baldy Yurt stay (winner Dylon Merrell); Ute Lodge campsite (winner Jamie Reck); Ben Quinn pottery (winner Kathleen Kelley); Trevor and Chrissie Nielsen’s bowie knife (big winner Tom Kilduff); Mountain Man basket (winner Debbie Cook); Nancy Richardson’s wine bottle opener (winner Dylon Merrell); Ron and Janet Spencer’s homemade goodies (winner Christine Halandras); and Elaine Jordan’s wind chime (winner Sharon Day). Stanley Crawford and Mike Dinwiddie each donated more funds to take home the leftover prime rib. Thanks to each and every one of you that contributed to an amazing evening! We are so grateful for this community and all of your generosity towards our ecology trip to the Galápagos Islands this June.


Ann Franklin