Rifle fund-raiser really takes off

Post Independent Writer
Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker From left, Mike Bennett, publisher of The Citizen Telegram and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent; Dee McCown, wife of Garfield County Commissioner Larry McCown; and Rifle City Council members Jonathan Rice and Sandy Vaccaro get down and dirty in the Great Rifle Take-Off.

By Heidi Rice

Rifle Correspondent

Amongst encouraging cheers, seven brave souls stripped to their tie-dyed union suits for the “Great Rifle Take-Off,” a fund-raising event held Friday night as a kickoff to the city’s eighth annual Rifle Rendezvous celebration.

Rifle City Council members were repeatedly approached to participate in the first-ever event, by Gary Miller, owner of Miller’s Dry Goods and a Rendezvous planning committee member.

Somewhat reluctantly, five city council members agreed to participate – Alan Lambert, Jeff Johnson, Jonathan Rice, Sandy Vaccaro and Mayor Keith Lambert – along with two “substitute strippers,” Mike Bennett, publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and The Citizen Telegram, and a mystery guest.

“Whatever dignity the City Council had will be gone in about 15 minutes,” joked City Councilor Jeff Johnson just prior to the “strip” show.

In conjunction with the street dance, the show was held on 3rd Street to music by Rockinghorse.

Holding masks of Gary Miller’s face on a stick in front of their faces and sporting cowboy hats, the seven stood in front of the band and began their amateur attempts at stripping.

The “mystery guest” turned out to be none other than Dee McCown, wife of Garfield County Commissioner Larry McCown, who wore on her face a mask of councilor Judy Builteman, for whom she was substituting.

“Here she comes now, screamin’ mony, mony!” the band sang loudly to the classic Tommy James and the Shondells song as McCown stepped in front of the line and did a few bumps and grinds.

Mayor Lambert also got into the action.

“You know I love you, mony, mony, mony!” the band bellowed as Lambert swung his pants over his head.

As they stripped down to their multi-colored union suits, Rifle City Police Chief Daryl Meisner came forward.

“Should I take them all in for indecent exposure?” he laughed along with the crowd.

The show was definitely PG-rated, short and sweet. The money given to the “strippers” for their performance is all earmarked to go to a local charitable organization.

And afterwards, the obviously relieved performers admitted it wasn’t so bad.

“Did we have fun?” Mayor Lambert repeated the question asked of him. “Absolutely.””Did we have fun?” Mayor Lambert repeated the question asked of him. “Absolutely.”

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