Boost troop morale as well as your love life at singles auction hosted by the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs |

Boost troop morale as well as your love life at singles auction hosted by the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs

Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Ask the guys and gals dating in Glenwood, and they’ll tell you. Finding a mate in these parts isn’t always easy. Like everywhere, people are looking for love in bars, personal ads, wherever they can.

So why not find your mate on an auction block?

Bidding on romance is just one of the draws of “Love, Operation Vacation Style,” to be held Friday at Hotel Colorado. The fundraiser will feature silent auctions, raffles, games and a bumping dance party. A dozen brazen singles will be auctioned off, half from the Fort Carson military base and half from this area. Winning bidders will not only receive a bit of company for their buck, but an activity package as well. They will get to woo their won dates with skiing or snowmobiling or such, plus dinner.

And, as everyone involved was quick to point out, this is all for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit Operation Vacation, the Glenwood-based program that gives soldiers and their families free, much-needed vacations.

“This isn’t like a meat market sort of thing,” stressed April Clark, who created the night. “It’s about supporting the troops.”

Though half those words are synonymous with bumper stickers and political speeches, they sounded fresh coming from Clark’s mouth. A Post Independent columnist who is handling public relations and marketing for Operation Vacation, Clark said she saw this as a chance to share some of its good will with singles, too. Since its beginning in 2005, the program has helped out or given free vacations to nearly 100 soldiers and their families.

“A lot of times they (the soldiers) just don’t see the support,” said Clark. “Sometimes they just need to see that people care.”

Bob Johnson, 34, CEO and founder of Operation Vacation, seemed enthusiastic about the event, if only a bit less so about going on the block himself.

“It’s not about my ego or anything,” he said, light-heartedly. “It’s about raising money for the troops.”

He described the gratitude he feels from the soldiers and families he’s helped. Their happy faces, their excited words, “just bring tears to my eyes,” he said.

When Clark came to him with the idea of the singles party, he jumped at it. Soon, area businesses got on the bandwagon as well. One of the most impressive overtures was made by the Hotel Colorado, which is not only hosting the event but putting up the visiting singles for their entire weekend stay.

“It’s just a little bit of payback for what they (the soldiers) do for us every day,” Johnson said.

Even local civilians, not involved with organization, seemed to echo this sentiment. Beckie Hughes, the reigning Miss Colorado and an area business owner, agreed to be the event’s guest of honor. And no, she’s not up for bid.

Among the several townies being auctioned off is Betsy Prelesnick, 44, who said she’s never done anything like this. When asked if she was nervous about the whole experience, she laughed.

“Well, of course,” she replied. “But, you know, we’re rallying the community, and we’re raising money for Operation Vacation and helping some more people. That can’t be a bad thing.”

Will she find her soul mate? She thinks not, but still feels it will be a good time. For her, enjoying herself and giving back is what the night is all about.

Like us all, she knows money can’t buy you love. But, at least on Friday, it can buy you a shot at it.

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

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