Cowboy Christmas showcases Craig’s generosity | CraigDailyPress.com

Cowboy Christmas showcases Craig’s generosity

Boys & Girls Club honors locals who make a difference at holiday event

The crowd digs into their dinner as part of the 11th annual Cowboy Christmas Saturday night at the Boys & Girls Club. The fundraiser included honoring community members

Go big or go home. Or go to Cowboy Christmas, at which the good spirits rise a little bit each year.

The 11th annual event, hosted by the Boys & Girls Club of CraigBoys & Girls Club of Craig, sold out ticketsonce again Saturday night as community members came in by the droves to support the local outlet for kids., sold out ticketsonce again Saturday night as community members came in by the droves to support the local outlet for kids.

Boys & Girls Club of Craig, sold out ticketsonce again Saturday night as community members came in by the droves to support the local outlet for kids.

With dinner and drinks beginning the evening and a variety of auction items on display throughout the night, the crowd shifted from easygoing mingling to rapt attention when Executive Director Dana Duran took the microphone to acknowledge some of the BGC's honored guests.

The People of the Year Award went to Dave and Linda DeRose, who helped found the Craig chapter of BGC more than a decade ago and continue to support its efforts.

Bill Sawer was the winner of the Georgina McAnally Volunteer of the Year — the man better known as "Soccer Bill" regularly visits the club to work with young people there among his many projects in Northwest Colorado.

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Phil Vallem was present to accept Business of the Year as owner of Intermountain Appliance, quick to attach its name to any kind of happening in Craig, big or small.

Before spectators got back to the entertainment, which included a live auction, dancing, live music by the Smokin' Gun Band and a Texas Hold 'Em tournament, Youth of the Year recipient Taylor Oxenreider read from her essay that won her the award as a junior staff member, eligible for competition with the BGC Steamboat Springs branch and potentially with teens across the state for a larger award in the months to come.

"The Boys & Girls Club is always my first place when I need a place to go," she said. "I work 12 to 16 hours a week, and when I'm not on the clock, I still choose to be at the club. It is an environment where great futures start, and I'd rather be at the club making a difference than out making bad choices."

The speech got a standing ovation, which Duran said was also worthy of applying to the many donor businesses and individuals who have helped "write the future" for Oxenreider and kids like her in the years to come.

Each year's occasion is special, but this year's event was certainly one for the books, Duran said.

"We've got the highest attendance, the most auction items — it's the biggest Cowboy Christmas we've ever had," she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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