New Glenwood Springs fundraiser serves up food and spirits for schoolbooks
Inaugural Roaring Forks, Corks and Kegs event aims to provide Glenwood public school teachers with the classroom supplies they need.
The genesis of Glenwood Springs’ newest posh fundraiser started with a parent showing up on the wrong day for parent-teacher meetings last year.
“I showed up the wrong night for a parent-teacher conference, and started talking to the teachers while I was there,” said Michael Picore, area sales manager at Bay Equity Home Loans.
Picore realized that his children’s teachers were experiencing the same troubles his own parents went through as teachers.
“They were having some of the same problems that my parents were having 30 years prior, of having to spend their own money on supplies, books, things like that, for the kids,” Picore said.
While many area schools host individual fundraisers, typically generating less than $10,000 a year, Picore thought it could be better.
“Maybe we can get something together that’s a little bigger, a little more community involvement, that would get teachers larger sums for their classrooms,” Picore remembers thinking.
Picore formed the Glenwood Springs Public Education Foundation with Bay Equity colleague Jeremy Joplin and friend Kyle Kappeli. Soon, all three families were working on the foundation.
At first, the goal was to raise $30,000 in the first year. But in two weeks, they had more than $50,000, and now have close to $80,000 in the fund.
To raise money, the three families decided to do a big gala event, like the decade-old fundraiser for Basalt schools, the Taste of Basalt.
Picore and others even met with Basalt Education Foundation president Erika Leavitt to discuss how to best put on the event.
“We just kind of took their idea and copied it,” Picore said. But they put a Glenwood twist on it.
“The fact that every restaurant is from Glenwood, and we’re doing it at the Hotel Colorado — it doesn’t get more Glenwood than that,” Joplin said.
After gathering some corporate sponsors, the team started asking restaurants to join in. Co. Ranch House was the first restaurant to commit, and many others jumped on board soon after.
Other food vendors include Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, Riviera, The Pullman, Grind, Masala & Curry, Smoke, Zheng, Brava, Sunshine & Moons, Sweet Coloradough and Chocolate Moose.
The event will have a silent auction with more than $40,000 worth of gift certificates, travel packages and other items.
In June, GSPEF will begin taking grant proposals online through its website, Glenwoodedu.org.
Currently, the grants will be limited to teachers at Glenwood Springs public schools.
“When we originally started, we said ‘any teacher, anywhere,’ but that got too big,” Picore said. Donors in western Garfield County were reluctant to contribute to up-valley schools, and vice versa, Picore said.
Picore and the group also want to contribute to other area schools, including the religious and charter schools. But for this year it’s limited to the traditional public schools.
“We’ll try to expand to the other schools next year,” Picore said.
For now, the Roaring Forks, Corks and Kegs event will take over most of the newly-renovated main floor of the Hotel Colorado from 6-10 p.m. Friday. Picore expects around 600 people, but still has tickets for the event.
Editor’s note: The Post Independent is a sponsor of the Roaring Forks, Corks and Kegs event.
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