Letter: Those concerned about STARS’ future are not a ‘vocal minority’ | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Those concerned about STARS’ future are not a ‘vocal minority’

I am one of 20-plus STARS volunteers who signed a letter to the STARS board ofd (available at http://bit.ly/STARSconcerns).  Our concerns and goals were discussed in the Steamboat Pilot & Today article by Kari Harden on Jan. 27. 

Swift retaliation was meted out to us in an impersonal, vindictive and unprofessional email by declaring, “…..your privilege to serve STARS as a volunteer has been revoked (immediately)…” along with a “mandate” to not enter the STARS Basecamp offices under threat of “security being notified.” 

The board president stated, “We responded to the group of volunteers but were unable to reach a resolution.” No invitation to meet was ever extended by the board to listen to our concerns or meet with them to resolve anything.

The former executive director  stated,  “…actions that a few are taking to harm … this organization.” That accusation is an outright falsification. We are volunteers, donors, parents of participants, veterans and community members supporting STARS with hopes for an environment of trust, transparency and respectful treatment of everyone who is a vital part of STARS. 

The red and black awareness ribbons people are wearing represent “Ribbons of Hope for Positive Change at STARS.” There was never a “letter circulated” or any “inference that without the dismissed volunteers the program is unsafe.” We support every individual who continues to be a STARS volunteer. They are our loyal colleagues, and we know each of them is doing his or her very best to serve STARS clients and keep them safe. 

As inaccurately described by a board member and the former executive director, we are not, “…just a few,…only a small number…a vocal minority…”  Judging by the number of comments online, many others are also concerned about what has been happening at STARS for the past five years and longer. Thank you to the Steamboat Pilot & Today for listening to and sharing our story.

The nucleus and heartbeat of STARS are the children, adults, veterans and all their families who live with and confront the challenges of disability every day. They are the ones to whom the entire STARS organization owes its existence. Our earnest hope is that the STARS board will partner with all of us who care about making STARS a strong, healthy and sustainable organization, so these very special people can reach to the sky and attain their STARS.

Linda E. Andrews
Steamboat Springs

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