Our view: Seize each day
January 8, 2019
The life of a community mirrors the lives of the people who live there. We experience tragedies and triumphs, and when we're at our very best, we come together to celebrate the good times and support each other through the bad times.
On Sunday, Steamboat Pilot & Today published its top stories of the year. This annual recounting of the news provided an opportunity for our journalists, the community and our readers to reflect on the past 12 months.
The "Year in Review" reminded us that 2018 was a year marked by more than its fair share of tragedy. The community struggled with the disappearance and death of a 38-year-old Steamboat Springs man — a story that remained in the headlines from April through December — and also grappled with the untimely deaths of 10-year-old Drew Rushton, 38-year-old mother of four Sancy Shaw, 39-year-old Hayden wrestling coach Chad Jones and so many others.
At a glance
At issue: A review of the top news stories of 2018 reveals a year marked by tragedy.
Our View: Time and time again, our community responds to those in need, and we are reminded of what is truly important in life.
• Logan Molen, publisher
• Lisa Schlichtman, editor
• Mike Burns, community representative
• Melissa Hampton, community representative
Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@
These tragic losses left many of us reeling, struggling with the age-old question — why do bad things happen to good people? There are no easy answers to questions of that magnitude, but we can take comfort knowing that we live in communities that rally around those who are hurting.
In each instance, there has been an amazing outpouring of support for these grieving families. GoFundMe pages have been set up, food trains established and special events planned to honor the memories of these members of our community who left this world too soon.
These acts of kindness and generosity seem to come naturally to the people who live here, and they are an ingrained part of the culture of Steamboat Springs and Routt County. We look out for our neighbors and help shoulder the burden when needs arise.
In December, GoFundMe recognized Steamboat Springs as the nation's most generous city based on per capita giving. This designation supports what many of us who live here already know. People who live in the Yampa Valley seem programmed to give — and their generosity is far reaching, supporting many causes, from the careers of Olympians to new business start-ups to families in crisis.
In particular, the community's response to the death of Sancy Shaw in a crash on Christmas Eve has been extraordinary. Sancy's husband, Brett Shaw, described the generosity of family and friends as "an absolute blessing" as he mourns the loss of his wife and prays for the recovery of his 6-year-old daughter Charlee, who was critically injured in the crash that claimed her mother's life.
To date, a GoFundMe page has raised over $130,000 for the Shaws, and Brent said the funds will be used to help the family in many ways. "I'm so overwhelmed and blown away by people's generosity," Brent said.
So once again, in the face of tragedy, the community steps up to meet a need, and a family in their time of deepest need is comforted and supported.
Tragedy not only spurs compassion, but it also reminds us that life is precious. And as we begin a new year, we should resolve to live life as if each day is our last and follow the golden rule of treating others as we'd like to be treated ourselves — be kind and generous, love unconditionally, smile more, judge less and hold the people you love a little tighter.