Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts turkey drive for Lift-Up |

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts turkey drive for Lift-Up

In this file photo
Christopher Mullen / Post Independent File Photo |

If You Go...

Who: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, KSNO, Bighorn Toyota, Lift-Up

What: Turkey Tram-a-Ganza

When: Noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday (park closes at 9 p.m.)

Where: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

How Much: One turkey

In an effort to ensure no family has to go this Thanksgiving without a turkey, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is hosting its first Turkey Tram-a-Ganza on Sunday, giving tram rides in exchange for turkeys to be donated to local Lift-Up food pantries.

From noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, patrons can donate one turkey in exchange for up to four free tram rides up Iron Mountain and an entry in a drawing for two Annual Thrill Passes. The free tram rides are valid that day only and can be used to take in the park’s Winter on the Mountain displays and activities. Amusement park ride tickets are sold separately.

“This is a fantastic way to help out our friends and neighbors in need before the holidays arrive,” said the park’s general manager, Nancy Heard. “We hope everyone in the valley will consider donating a turkey to Lift-Up during Turkey Tram-a-Ganza. It’s a great cause, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

Heard said the idea for the event came from KSNO and was inspired by a similar event that takes place in Vail. If the free tram rides aren’t enough inspiration for people to donate, KSNO’s Elizabeth Drolet will be broadcasting live on the Iron Mountain tram beginning at noon and ending whenever 2,000 pounds of turkey have been donated.

“How does anyone feel at the prospect of riding a tram all day?” Drolet said with a laugh. “But it’s for a good cause, so I’m happy to do it. But I really hope people bring turkeys so I’m not on that tram all day.”

Lift-Up is a non-profit organization with food pantries in Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle and Parachute. According to its website, it was formed in 1982 when thousands of people flocked to western Colorado to work in the oil shale industry. When finding work didn’t come fast enough, many lived in cars or under bridges, inspiring local churches and businesses to come together and form Lift-Up.

Lift-Up serves thousands of people each year and provides four days of food for any family up to four times a year. According to its website, 32,140 clients received various services from Lift-Up through October; 30,894 sacks of groceries were provided; and 15,598 hot meals were served through soup kitchens.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is no stranger to helping Lift-Up. The park’s summer Music on the Mountain series gives patrons tram rides in exchange for a nonperishable food donation. To date, the food drive has brought in more than 40,000 cans for the food pantries since 2009.

The timing is right for Turkey Tram-a-Ganza. The park will have its grand opening of Winter on the Mountain today with Santa arriving and family-style dinner being served at 5 p.m. Patrons will also be able to view the half a million lights decorating the park, including 70,000 strung on a giant Christmas tree that is choreographed to about eight different songs. All of these attractions will also be in place on Sunday, with Santa making an appearance from 1 to 4 p.m. The park had a soft opening on Nov. 1 to allow some time to get in the swing of things with so many changes, but this weekend marks its grand opening.

Heard said she feels any business has an obligation to help its community when it can.

“With any business, you have to be civic-minded,” Heard said. “We wouldn’t be successful if the community didn’t support us, so we want to also support the community.”

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