For the past four years, a local after-school program has churned out actors, rock climbers and qualified baby-sitters. It has given students confidence to use a sewing machine, helped increase math scores and showed students how to produce a televised newscast.
Recreational After-school Doorway for Moffat County School District's fifth- through eighth-grade students has been recognized as the most successful RAD program in the state, but organizers need help to ensure a future for the program that serves about 300 students a week. A Jan. 15 fund-raiser should help, said Executive Director Dianne Gould.
"It will be something fun for Moffat County residents to start the new year with," she said. "People really get into it. It's an opportunity for people to come out and really have fun."
"Murder Takes a Cruise" will feature actors from Red Herring Productions based in Colorado Springs. The traveling group will perform an interactive play that encourages the audience to collaborate in figuring out which cast member murdered a fellow actor and why, based on clues the audience derives from the cast.
The event includes hors d' oeuvres, dinner and a cash bar. A simultaneous silent auction with offerings such as hotel stays, restaurant certificates and other prizes also should help generate funds for the after-school program, Gould said.
Gould said she became interested in using the production as a fund-raiser after she viewed a performance in Grand Junction.
At that time, audience members enthusiastically participated in the event and dressed in costume.
RAD has operated on an $80,000-a-year grant from the Colorado Trust for the past four years, but that funding is expected to end in May. The grant covers about 15 programs four days a week during sessions throughout the school year. A host of volunteers and some paid staff administer the programs. Moffat County's RAD program serves more than triple the amount of students than the program does in other areas.
Pagosa Springs, serves the second largest amount of students, 72, compared with Moffat County's numbers.
Gould said that some people think RAD is the same as the Boys and Girls Club is frustrating.
"We teach life skills training," she said. "The kids really get hooked on it and they keep coming back."