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Concert honors Rippys for gift to new CMC campus

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. They have set mountain roads in stone. They have paved places for tournament play. And now they are helping to cement a new campus for Colorado Mountain College into reality.Gregg and John Rippy, owners of Grand River Construction, are honorees in the opening Glenwood Springs concert of the seventh season of the Jim Calaway Honors Series.The concert, “Musical Theatre Today,” takes place at 7 p.m. today at CMC’s Spring Valley Center theater in the Calaway Academic Building. This revue presents music from shows currently, recently or soon to be on Broadway, with commentary from performers. Featured shows include “Chicago,” “A Chorus Line,” “Evita,” “Les Miserables,” “Mary Poppins” and “Ragtime.” The Rippy brothers are third-generation construction contractors, and their family homesteaded here nearly a century ago. In the ’50s and ’60s, following World War II, E.J. Rippy and Sons began doing heavy highway construction. The Rippy forefathers built the road over Lizard Head Pass, the highway through DeBeque Canyon, and many other regional projects.In the mid-’60s, Paul Rippy established the new Grand River Construction Company with his sons’ future in view.”After working at it for decades, Gregg and John bought the company from their father in the 1990s,” said Marilee Rippy, Gregg’s wife. “Paul set the family precedent in being magnanimous, and each year they have donated something substantial to cities or nonprofits.”The Rippys established the tennis courts at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, offering to build one complete court with fencing, or to do the paving, grading and asphalt work for all the courts, and have the city fence and finish them. The city chose the latter,” she said. They also donated the original Sayre Park and Veltus Park tennis courts.”This has been something we can do for the community,” Marilee said. “Our fund helped with building the sound garden at the Community Center in memory of our son, Stuart.”The family has also generously offered to assist with building the new CMC West Garfield campus near Rifle.”It’s life-altering to have an education,” Marilee said. “It’s something no one can take from you. The area will really benefit in so many ways from this new campus – it is really exciting.”Tonight’s concert shows CMC’s appreciation for the Rippy family’s community support in the valley.”The kindness and commitment that the Rippys have shown to CMC is core to the spirit of our community college,” said Alexandra Yajko, CEO of the CMC Foundation. “They are supporting their community in a commitment to higher education that will benefit students as they realize their dreams.” “Musical Theatre Today,” created by Ruth Leon Morley, features soprano Judeth Shay Burns and baritone Steven Taylor, accompanied by pianist Debra Ayers. Morley is a renowned musical theater author, lecturer and director. Burns and Taylor perform with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Springs Symphony, Central City Opera and Opera Theatre of the Rockies. Ayers is with Montage Music Society, a Boston-based ensemble.For tickets, call 947-8367 or visit http://www.cmccearts.org online.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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