Readers Say Thanks |

Readers Say Thanks

New Castle comes through in a big way

Besides the Boy Scout food drive we’ve written about before, New Castle LIFT-UP received an outpouring of support in food donations last year. We wish we could thank each of you personally. Your gift of food and time is greatly appreciated.

Thank you to the students and staff of Kathryn Senor Elementary, Elk Creek Elementary and Riverside Middle School. We laughed at your creative food-drive contests. Thanks to the California mission kids who carried 3 1/2 tons of food upstairs and did all that sorting.

Thank you for the library’s “food for fines,” Niemann’s “pumpkin patch” drive, churches, businesses and individuals who donated throughout the year and everyone who dropped in to help. Thanks to our friends who call to ask what we need and River Center staff for their support and help.

What a wonderful community we live in!

New Castle LIFT-UP volunteers

Support for ProStart students much appreciated

Last Sunday, YouthEntity’s ProStart students, led by Chef Instructor Matt Maier, served a fabulous three-course meal designed and prepared by the students at Allegria restaurant in Carbondale. Because of the generosity of Executive Chef and Owner Andreas Fischbacher and his staff Crystin, Jeffrey and Jessica, our students learned the particulars of operating a restaurant and serving guests. Andreas has been volunteering with YouthEntity since we began offering culinary arts courses four years ago. He has provided his restaurant as a venue for YouthEntity events that help give our culinary students real-world learning experiences.

In addition to the support from Andreas, our ProStart coaches have been working nonstop to help prepare our students for the 2016 State ProStart invitational at Johnson & Wales University in Denver. Our culinary team is led by Matt Maier of, and our management team is guided by Kirsten McDaniel, Executive Director of YouthEntity. Both coaches dedicate countless hours to help prepare these students for their upcoming competitions.

I and the YouthEntity Board extend our sincere gratitude to Allegria’s staff, Matt and Kirsten for a wonderful event and their efforts on behalf of the ProStart students.


Bob Blattberg

chairman of the board, YouthEntity

Our bowls are now empty but our hearts are full

As the kick-off for Grand River Meals on Wheels’ March for Meals (and not to mention its 40th anniversary!, the Second Annual Empty Bowls was an amazing collaboration/success and a time for some of our students to shine. Thank you to all the Colorado Mountain College Rifle Campus ceramics students: Debera Stewart, Diana Vagneur, Diane Geist, Peggy Swank, Lou Roess, Ali Mage, Deb Nicholson, Judy Burke, Sandy Constine, Rebecca Corona, Val Cox, Marilyn Cozza, Gen Edwards, Julie Gavito, Dorothy Hutchison, Debbie Novak and their fearless leader, Michelle McCurdy, for providing over 500 beautiful bowls. And to Sarah Naef and her crew of chefs Patrick Aulick, Mike Meador and Glendy Martinez and students Tanner Strong, Melissa Rodriguez, Kyleah Ross, Chelsea Gosnell, Kate Lee Ross, Dan Schouten, Maribel Nevarez and Jake Larsen. These Rifle and Coal Ridge high school students are in the CMC’s concurrent enrollment culinary arts program, and their culinary creations were outstanding and rivaled the best cook-off reality shows. The event was also a time to stop and reflect on those whose bowls often remain empty. Special thanks to Midland Art Company in Rifle for the many silent auction items. We are grateful to live in a community who cares and supports its homebound seniors.

Kaaren Peck

Grand River Health director of volunteer services

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