John F. Russell: Saying thanks |

John F. Russell: Saying thanks

As a reporter, I meet lots of people working to make a difference in our community.

Some are coaches, some are teachers and most are volunteers. Many of them don’t realize the impact they have, and they rarely expect to be thanked for what they do.

They are people like Linda Danter, who organized this week’s Rally for a Cure golf tournament at the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Resort. The tournament is the result of her desire to make a difference.

She hosted the first Rally for a Cure golf tournament seven years ago. The event raised less than $2,000, but it still was a huge success in Linda’s eyes. Today the event has grown into one of Steamboat Springs’ most inspiring fundraising events. Linda would never admit it, but the main reason so many people make contributions and play in the event is because of her energy and drive. The final numbers aren’t yet in for this year’s event, but the tournament drew 188 golfers. That’s more golfers than participated last year, when the Rally for a Cure tournament raised more than $20,000 for cancer research.

For years, Linda pounded the pavement to solicit donations and silent auction items and raise awareness. Thankfully, she’s received some help from other community members in recent years.

My point isn’t to put Linda on a pedestal and sell you on what a great person she is. I think her actions say more than my words ever could. I also believe that anyone who knows Linda already understands what a great person she is.

Rather, I’m writing about Linda because she is the perfect example of how a simple idea can make a difference in a community. This tournament started as a small gesture, a way for Linda to do something meaningful in her life. At first, the modest donations went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Last year, the tournament raised $10,000 for the national organization and another $10,000 for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project. Both organizations have touched people in our community.

Sure, it’s great that our community organizations step forward every summer and raise money through golf tournaments and other fundraisers. I honestly believe that this community’s generosity is second to none. Those organizations and people deserve our gratitude and thanks.

But there is another group of people here in Steamboat who are making a difference every day. They teach our children, volunteer their time as coaches and give up time from their days to make a difference. Their contributions may not seem grand, and many times they go unnoticed.

Today, I would just like to say thanks to those people. They’re the ones who make this little town a great place to live.

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