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Support your community — volunteer

SUN Columnist

In the coming weeks, there will be many opportunities to support one of our community’s non-profit agencies and have fun in the process. There is always something fun going on and, chances are, one of these fun activities is hosted by an organization that is servicing the needs of this community. If you are new to the area, or if you have lived here for years and are finding that you have a little free time, then there is an organization that could use your help.

How do you find out about the community’s needs?

First, you might come into contact with a service group because you are in need of their services. This direct point of contact might encourage you to give back to the group and to the community.

Another way to find out if you can assist an organization is to attend the Volunteer Recruitment Day to be held Saturday, April 20, in Town Park, in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations. Perhaps the Youth Center could use your help or your children would like to participate in center activities. Perhaps your family could take a few hours every week or month and walk dogs or play with the cats at the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs shelter. If archeology or Native American culture is of interest, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association is looking for volunteers. If you can swing a hammer, handle a paintbrush, or you have some construction skills, Habitat for Humanity could use your help.

These are just a few of the organizations in Pagosa Springs that are looking for volunteers. Volunteering is personally rewarding, brings the family together and joins people with a common purpose. It teaches our youth to not always receive, but to give, and how their assistance can help their neighbors and friends.

On April 20, organizations will be on hand at Town Park to explain their volunteer needs and services and you can gather information about agencies at one location. While at the Volunteer Recruitment Day, enjoy the festivities associated with Earth Day, including education booths, live music and food booths and a beer garden. If you are a member of an organization interested in participating in the Volunteer Recruitment Day, contact Patricia Shoffner at the Visitor Center at 264-2360. It doesn’t have to take much of your time, and any amount of time you can contribute to community assistance is crucial and helpful.

Fun community events

On Friday, March 22, the Knights of Columbus will host the last Fish Fry of the season. This six-week eating extravaganza is a welcome tradition and we are sad to see it end. The fried catfish, homemade fries, cole slaw, hush puppies, dessert and drinks quenches the appetite of the heartiest eater. The Fish Fry is held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 5 to 7 p.m. Takeout orders are also available, but join in the community commaraderie at the Parish Hall if you can.

On Saturday, March 23, the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake will be held at the Rolling Thunder Bowling Alley at the Sky Ute Casino. Teams of four people will bowl for an hour each. Raise money for your team and compete for prizes with fun competitions. This event is a wonderful family or business event and an opportunity to get out and bowl — something that is not available in Pagosa. Name your team, dress in costume or just get out and have a good time. To register for the event, visit www.bbig.org.

Also on Saturday, March 23, Seeds of Learning will host a March to the Movies Day with two children’s movies: “The Little Mermaid” and “Shark Tale.” “The Little Mermaid” begins at 10:30 a.m. with doors opening at 9:30, and “Shark Tale” starts at 1:30 p.m. with doors opening at 12:30. Movie-goers can dress up as their favorite characters and there will be prizes for the best individual and family costumes. You can get your picture taken with the movie characters for $1 and photos will be available after each movie. Be prepared to partake of some yummy snacks, a bake sale and tons of family fun Tickets are $5 for each movie and they can be purchased in advance at Seeds of Learning or at the door.

In the evening on Saturday, March 23, head over to the high school where the Pagosa Springs Community Band will join forces with the Pagosa Springs Middle School and high school bands to present an evening of music. Pianist Venita Burch will play the George Gershwin classic “Rhapsody in Blue,” and the audience will be treated to an abundance of local musical talent. Admission to the event is free and the concert begins at 7 p.m.

The Girl Scouts will host a fund-raiser on Saturday, March 30, in Town Park — an Easter Bunny Bash. One of the highlights of the day will be a Mother/Daughter VIP Tea in a special designated area of the park. The $20 ticket price includes tea for 2, the Little Bunny Fashion Show, photo with Alice in Wonderland characters, finger foods and sweet treats, a souvenir to take home and a cupcake decorating activity. The Easter Bunny Bash will be held from 1-3 p.m.

As you can see, there is no lack of opportunities for family fun in Pagosa Springs, much of it provided by our non-profit organizations. Come out on April 20 and find out how you can contribute to one of Pagosa’s well-deserving nonprofits.

Beetles and watersheds 

On Tuesday, April 9, several partner agencies will host a Bark Beetle and Watersheds Open House and community meeting. The meeting will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center from 6-7:30 p.m. The goals of the meeting are to share what scientists know and don’t know about the potential water impacts from bark beetle infestations in lodgepole and spruce-fir forests, to share concerns from community members and local professionals about the current beetle infestation in the San Juan headwaters, and for the public to learn more about the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, Firewise of Southwest Colorado and upcoming events and opportunities. If you are interested in finding out more about current forest and water conditions, how you can get more involved in mitigation of private lands including property owner areas, and what steps are being taken to protect our precious water sheds, attend this meeting. It will be informative and you will be able to speak with professionals in group and one-on-one settings. The meeting is free and no registration is necessary.

On Wednesday, April 10, for the more dedicated water, forest or research professional, a workshop will be held in Durango from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Durango Public Library. The conference is free, but there is limited space and you must register by April 1. Register at www.mountainstudies.org. We want to thank the participants — the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, Mountain Studies Institute, the U.S. Forest Service, Firewise of Southwest Colorado, and Western Water Assessment — for their excellent collaboration efforts and the desire to educate our community on this serious issue.

Business news

A quick reminder that the Dancing With Stress/Managing Overwhelm seminar will be held Thursday, March 21, at the EcoLuxe at The Springs Resort from 4-7 p.m. Enjoy two dynamic guest speakers, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, tons of networking and a cash bar. Manage the stress, don’t let it manage you.

The next Maximizing Your Membership Class will be held Monday, March 25, at the Chamber. The luncheon meeting is free to all — Chamber members and non-members — and lunch is included. The class is held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. at 264-2360, as space is limited.

We have two new members to welcome to the Chamber this week.

Coates Collision Center with Lin Coates is new to Pagosa. You might be familiar with their work in Bayfield, but their repair center is now in Pagosa. Not only does Coates Collision work on newer model cars, but they also restore and repair classic cars. They have an excellent reputation in southwest Colorado. They are located at 77 Majestic Drive, or you can give them a call at 731-4600.

Alpha Machinery with Bill Trakes is also a new business in town. Alpha Machinery specializes in the rental and sales of construction and industrial equipment. Need a backhoe, auger, trailer or other large equipment? Check out what Bill has available. Contact him at (602) 363-4049 for more information.

We have a large number of membership renewals this week. Without the support and renewal of our businesses, the Chamber would not be as active as we are. This week’s renewing members are: Wyndham Pagosa, All Purpose Storage and U-Haul, Moore Chiropractic Wellness Centre, Mountain Landing Guest Quarters, Pagosa Baking Company, Re:Sport and Safer Living. In the non-profit arena we welcome back the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, Archuleta School District 50 Joint, Community United Methodist Church, the Republican Party of Archuleta County and the San Juan Shootists. From out of the area, we have Durango Credit and Collection Co., Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado, Creede Repertory Theatre and KSUT Public Radio. Our associate members renewing are Katy Deshler and Mary Sealy.

From the Chamber of Commerce and the business community, we want to give a special congratulations to both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from Pagosa Springs High School. What a dynamic effort and experience this year. You make us proud every year with your hard work and we are pleased that you have been rewarded this year.

This story was posted on March 21, 2013.