Integrated Community: Thanksgiving sharing
December 2, 2009
To the editor:
This November, Integrated Community had its first community Thanksgiving dinner in Craig.
The interplay of families, friends, traditions, celebration and bountiful food was gracious and divine. Dozens of volunteers showed up to lend a loving hand.
Some agreed to share their culinary talents with the rest of us by bringing exquisite, homemade, traditional Thanksgiving dishes. We also got new, but equally meaningful, dishes like tamales and "tres leches" cake.
Several volunteers bunkered down in the kitchen to organize and serve meals with all the dedication and servitude that embody true citizenry. People from all walks of life displayed leadership and initiative by helping to set up, serve, clean up and offer welcoming smiles to attendees.
Integrated Community also had the privilege of sharing the event with other local nonprofits, local entrepreneurs and artists all of whom shined in their support and offer of talented gifts.
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Coordinating and sponsoring community events can be a stressful experience for personnel at non-profit organizations.
Anyone involved can attest to the fact that it is a lot like alchemy: we combine the important ingredients but the magic is out of our hands. This is because the chemistry and energy of any community event lies in the hearts of participants.
Your interactions and openness to share with one another is what gives life to this experience. It is also what gives life to an organization like Integrated Community.
I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my co-worker, Eveline Bacon — the main alchemist of this event. She worked tirelessly to bring Craig closer together and succeeded.
We are grateful to the following individuals, groups, organizations and businesses for creating and sustaining community.
This may not be a comprehensive list for so many joined us along the way. To those inadvertently missed here, we are equally grateful. We could not exist without your support and dedication.
• St. Michael Catholic Church
• Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association
• Love Inc.
• Census 2010 Committee
• Routt County United Way
• Vallarta's Restaurant – Mario and Jessica Aguiano, Rogelio
• The Village Inn — Gabriel Clark
• El Ranchero Restaurant — Don Tico
Integrated Community board members: Mary Morris and Alvaro Landa
Integrated Community former board member and current philanthropist: Mark Rydberg
Talented musicians/artists: Yuri Chicovsky and Ivan Rizo
Volunteers, cooks, servers: Erica Valenzuela, Nick Odell, Mayola Cruz, Clifford Fisher, Cathy Copeland and the girls soccer team, Ray Beck, Pacho Aux and Eveline's English-as-Second-Language students, Marta Ramos, Margarita Villa , Alicia Duarte, Armida Duarte, Aurorita Duarte, Gisela Garison.
George Avgares, Karen Gibson, Fonda Crocket, Mary Petrone, Judy Wilden Karen Bank, Lupita Zaragoza, Rosa Zaragoza, Sue Winery, Maria Lopez, Kate Novak, Tony Fernandez, Samantha Johnston, JoAnn Quade, and Gladys Aragon.
Janet Winn, Patty Maradiegue, Debbie Bergman, Jill Grimes, Claudia Saenz, Rosa Tarango, Jenny Gallegos, Teresa Caro, Alma Tarango, Josefina Mendoza, Luz Mendoza, Enriqueta Cera, Socorro Quintana, Leticia Lopez, Silvia McFeaters, Karla Larsen, Donna Sweet, and Brenda McKey.