“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.”     – author unknown

Grand County is a very special place.  We have people here like nowhere else – people who give of  their time and of themselves to help others. Our people are generous, our businesses are generous, and we have more to offer everyone who lives here or visits her because of that generosity. Can we ever say enough about our volunteers!

We have major events that raise money for different causes.  Every year the Stagecoach Classic, this year Saturday Jan 26, relies on a hundred or more volunteers to provide a racing and touring experience that draws hundreds of people to experience our beautiful outdoors in a trip back in time – celebrating the old trail connecting the Devils Thumb Ranch and the Idlewild Ski area that had an Alpine area and a Nordic Barn.  Many of the school children in the 1900’s learned to ski at Idlewild because it was right in town. This historic trail is only open once a year by arrangements with the US Forest Service and various landowners so come enjoy! Call the Nordic Center at 970-726-8231 for more information. If you are not a Nordic skier, whether a racer or a casual skier, but want to volunteer, contact either the Nordic Center or email  gvigneau@devilsthumbranch.com.  Devils Thumb and Winter Park Chamber of Commerce have not yet announced who the non-profit recipient of part of their proceeds are this year.

Another event well worth your time is to cheer on our High School and Middle School Nordic team athletes at their Home Race at Saturday Jan 26. This fun event needs multitudes of volunteers that can help in all areas like course marshals (on skis!), registration, start and finish lines, announcers, parking lot attendants, and go-fers or runners who fill in to do anything needed!  Come watch your friends and neighbors ski and stay and help for the afternoon. More than 8 schools from across the state will have athletes competing in the pursuit format for the High School boys and girls while Middle Schoolers only ski a 3K Classic. That means that High School boys and girls ski a 3K Classic race followed by a 3K race for the Middle School kids. Then the High School boys and girls skate a 5K pursuit race starting according to their finish time from the Classic race.  First race begins at 1030am and last race is set for 215p. Come cheer them on – bring your voice and your cowbell! Or if you can volunteer, contact Laura Cleveland at 970-531-8364 or lauracleveland@hotmail.com.

The next full week, the International Ski for Light 2019 will be hosted by Snow Mountain Ranch.  These blind or visually-impaired skiers come from all over the world arriving Sunday Jan 27. Some come with guides to help them traveling and skiing, some come with guide dogs for the blind, but most need helpers here.   They will spend the week practicing on the ski trails culminating in a race/rally Saturday Feb 2. Volunteers are needed to orient and assist arriving Visually-Impaired skiers to their rooms Jan 27 and assist loading the buses for departing skiers Feb 3.  Guide Dogs for the Blind coordinate dog walking but welcome helpers. Skiers need help on the trails all during the week, sometimes just someone to ski with them to keep them oriented. The Race/Rally Feb 2 begins at 10am and needs helpers to set up banners and flags, assist at start and finish lines lining up people and giving out ribbons, help at course intersections, and acting as course sweeps.  If you have some time to get involved with this amazing group of skiers, contact Karen Ishibashi at 310-961-0610 or karen.ishibashi@gmail.com.

Saturday Feb 9 is the Grand Nordic Ranch2Ranch Trek starting at Snow Mountain Ranch skiing about 12K to Granby Ranch via the Fraser to Granby Trail.  Park Your car at the Montana Lot at Granby Ranch, catch the shuttle bus at 830a or 930a to Snow Mountain Ranch, register from 9-1030a and get your bib.  Start immediately on the marked trail groomed for both classic and skate by Snow Mountain Ranch, Grand Nordic-HTA, and Granby Ranch. Two aid stations and Brian Mountain Patrol en route ensure help along the trail to get you to the finish.  And if that isn’t enough, ski back to Snow Mountain Ranch. Just remember to go back to Granby Ranch to turn in your bib and get your lunch coupon since lunch is included at Granby Ranch! This is a major fundraiser for Youth Nordic skiing scholarships, instruction programs and school teams support in Grand County.  Call 970-887-0547 or email president@grandnordic.org  for additional information or to volunteer at registration, finish line, aid stations or as course marshals. Register for the trek online at www.grandnordic.org.

So many things to volunteer for.  So many things to get you outside to enjoy winter.  So many things to appreciate about Grand County and the people who live here.