Our View: Good deeds
As spring arrives in the Yampa Valley, it seems like the perfect time to stop and reflect on a string of stories Steamboat Pilot & Today has reported on in the last few weeks that illustrate what it’s like to live in a caring community among many residents who do the right thing and invest their time in ways that positively impact the lives of those around them.
At the top of our list is the story about a bus full of Steamboat Springs students who were involved in a crash after the bus driver suffered cardiac arrest. The quick response to the incident was truly astounding.
A bystander performed CPR on the driver until first responders arrived on the scene, and a high school teacher, who was in the vicinity, took command of the bus, calmed the students and then proceeded to drive the remainder of the route, making sure each student arrived home safely.
We also learned older students comforted younger students on the bus in the wake of the accident, which we thought was particularly heartwarming.
In a letter published this week, two sisters who were on the bus thanked those involved in responding to the crash. They wrote, “My sister and I were really scared, but we felt safe because of all the people who made sure we were all safe and assisted our loved bus driver … Thank you Steamboat Springs community for always coming together when somebody is in need.”
We couldn’t sum up the situation any better, and we’re grateful bus driver George Morris survived and is beginning his road to recovery.
Anyone who’s ever toured the Carpenter Ranch or attended an event there knows what a special place it is, and for 23 years, Betsy and Geoff Blakeslee served as stewards of the property and history that lives there.
Betsy retired as the ranch’s facilities manager the first week in April, and she and Geoff moved to a new home in Stagecoach. The couple had lived at the ranch for over two decades, and Betsy is leaving big boots to fill. According to Ferryington Carpenter’s son Willis, the Blakeslees cared for the ranch as if it were they own.
At issue: The Steamboat Pilot & Today has reported a number of feel-good stories of late, including a good Samaritan whose quick response saved the life of a local bus driver and a Leadership Steamboat class project that aims to get teens to open up about their feelings.
Our View: Sometimes it’s nice to shift focus and highlight the positive things that are occurring in our community.
- Logan Molen, publisher
- Lisa Schlichtman, editor
- Robin Stone, community representative
- Steve Hofman, community representative
They were also successful in marrying two different purposes — operating a working cattle ranch and preserving the Carpenter legacy — while also promoting The Nature Conservancy’s goals of conservation and education.
We want to acknowledge the Blakeslees’ hard work to preserve our community’s rich agricultural heritage while also providing students and people of all ages with a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn about ranching and the environment.
Every Leadership Steamboat class is tasked with working together on a community service project. This is an essential part of the chamber-sponsored program, and each year, classes execute impressive, impactful projects.
The 2019 Leadership Steamboat class is no exception, and we think their Coffee Cart concept is inspiring. The class is now working with the Steamboat Springs High School leadership class to implement the program, which uses coffee and conversation to create connections between students.
We think it’s wise that Leadership Steamboat has decided to collaborate with Partners of Routt County, the local expert on youth mentoring, to get the new program started, which we think can have a huge impact on our local youth. As high school teacher Kari Faulk describes it, the Coffee Cart promotes peer-to-peer connections: “The idea is let’s put our phones down, let’s put our screens down and let’s put our books away and just take 15 minutes out of class to chat and to connect and put a smile on people’s faces.”
In this day and age of technology and social media, it’s nice to know we have a group of local leaders who care about the youth of our community and want to make a difference — one cup of coffee and one conversation at a time.
And finally, we can’t let the winter season end without saying “thank you” to some unsung heroes — the snowplow operators across Routt County.
These hardworking individuals work long hours late at night during tough conditions to make sure we can travel local roadways safely, and their efforts can easily be taken for granted. And to put this task in perspective, we’d remind readers that city snow crews moved nearly 4,000 truckloads of snow this winter, which required 5,397 hours of snow plowing and 1,733 hours of snow hauling.
So as we welcome spring, we take this opportunity to thank our winter warriors who work to keep us safe.
All of these stories highlight people making a difference — saving lives, preserving the environment, sharing our community’s rich heritage, keeping us safe and impacting the lives of the next generation of residents and leaders. And they remind us that our valley is much more than a place of beauty. It is a place of many wonderful, caring and generous people.
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