Cowboy Christmas bestows holiday happiness at Craig Boys & Girls Club
It’s an event that’s restricted to adults, but anyone in attendance will tell you it’s all for the kids.
Boys & Girls Club of Craig was the site of the annual Cowboy Christmas Saturday evening, providing rootin’-tootin’ good times while supporting the local youth program.
The dinner, dancing and gaming were only part of the night for the crowd, with silent and live auctions with a plethora of donated items of all sorts bringing in funds for the club.
“I’m so overwhelmed by the generosity of people here supporting us,” said Dana Duran, executive director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Colorado.
Bobby Jones, director of operations for BGCNWC, said he most enjoys meeting people at the event.
“I’m from Steamboat, so I’m a little bit of an outsider, but I’ll meet somebody through somebody else and be able to talk to them for hours,” he said. “It’s a great community.”
The night also highlighted some of the young people who help make the spot a worthwhile place for kids to attend after school and during the summer.
In previous years, Cowboy Christmas has put the spotlight on local volunteers and businesses as well the year’s selection for Youth of the Year, with one member of the club’s junior staff picked to represent the organization.
This year was thrice as nice, as Craig’s Boys & Girls Club administrators opted to nominate three staff members for the award.
Junior staff members Maddie Coutts, Bryson Davis and Reina Steele were picked for the honor this year, all three providing a speech at the banquet detailing how their lives have been impacted by the club both as a child member and later as an employee.
“They’re all three such a good representation of what the club is, and it’s been neat to watch to them grow,” said Unit Director Kari Zimmerman.
Duran added that by picking multiple nominees — all of whom will compete for Youth of the Year of Northwest Colorado at a February event in Steamboat Springs, possibly attending a state-level contest in Denver if they’re selected — it allowed them all to work on their public speaking and achieve more.
“We’re able to give kids a microphone and say, ‘What do you think?’ and have some adults stop and listen,” she said. “The more people I can get to listen and more kids to speak, the more I feel like I’m serving the Boys & Girls Club.”
In the crowd was Mindy Baker, who said part of the reason she came out for the night was to get a look at the many auction items. Still, she was more impressed with the teens and their speeches.
“It’s amazing to hear their stories and how it’s affected their lives,” she said. “I think it makes people feel really good about supporting everything here.”
A blend of Northwest Colorado imagery and splashy colors now greets Craig drivers and pedestrians.