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Gathering a place to express patriotism, hope

— The Yampa Valley Community Foundation will bring people together on the lawn of the Routt County Courthouse from 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 11 to observe the one-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The “Community Gathering of Compassion and Hope” will involve musical performances, expressions of patriotism and spirituality and recognition of local emergency personnel.

Dean Vogelaar, a member of the foundation’s board of trustees, said the board wants to be involved in the community response to a crisis such as the terrorist attacks.

“We think the Community Foundation should take somewhat of a leadership role in something of this magnitude,” he said.

Vogelaar added that one of the organization’s primary motives is to partner with local police and firefighters.

“Police officers and firefighters were among the victims, and it points out the risks they take on our behalf. We don’t want that to go unnoticed in our community,” Vogelaar said.

Dianna Sutton, executive director of the foundation, said the event is being organized in response to requests from local residents seeking a venue where they can express their grief, patriotism and community spirit in response to the attacks.

The event will also serve as a fund-raiser for victims of the terrorist attacks. The Victims’ Relief Fund at the Community Foundation already contains $10,000 supplied by the foundation and a local donor. Of the total contributions, 80 percent will go to aid victims of the terrorist attacks and 20 percent will remain in Routt County to build a fund to aid local safety providers and residents involved in tragedies.

Although there are other fund-raising efforts in place, Vogelaar said the foundation hopes its involvement will give locals a level of confidence in their giving. He added the foundation intends to ask local police and firefighters to provide the direction for how local victims relief funds should be spent in the future.

The Thursday evening program will conclude with a candlelight vigil.

People who wish to make tax deductible contributions to the fund may send them to the YVCF-Victims’ Relief fund, P.O. Box 774965, Steamboat Springs, 80477.


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