Poogie’s spirit celebrated | SteamboatToday.com

Poogie’s spirit celebrated

Friends: Fundraiser was late philanthropist's kind of event

Steamboat Springs resident Eugene Buchanan, left, watches his 9-year-old daughter walk on a barrel during Saturday's Community Barbecue and Barn Dance.
Matt Stensland

— If Margaret “Poogie” Dawes could have been at the Steamboat Springs Rotary Club’s inaugural Community Barbecue and Barn Dance on Saturday, you would have been more likely to find her scrubbing dishes in the kitchen than cutting a rug on the dance floor.

Friend Sue Birch said the late local philanthropist was always ready and willing to “get her hands dirty” for a good cause.

“It’s great to think about how much she would have loved this,” friend Susie Clark added. “Poogie always had her heart behind the right thing. She just had instinct for what was right and what was good.”

Birch and Clark are members of Poogie’s Posse, a Rotary Club collection of Dawes’ friends who have been working to raise money for Poogie’s Place, which will offer youth and bereavement services at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s Rollingstone Respite House campus. Dawes, who had two teenage sons, died in April 2006 at the age of 54.

“It’s going to be a place for kids to kind of heal from their loss,” Birch, who is VNA’s chief executive officer, said of Poogie’s Place. “It’s all about hope and recovery.”

Rotarians chose Poogie’s Place as the beneficiary of Saturday’s fundraising event, which the club members hope will become an annual all-community event. The benefited service will change from year to year, but Birch said it most likely will focus on a cause benefiting children or the elderly.

“Poogie’s Posse has already raised $19,000, and that doesn’t include what we’ll raise tonight,” event committee member Paula Cooper Black said. “These ladies are incredible and wonderfully devoted friends of Poogie.”

Officials were hoping for 350 people to attend the barn dance and barbecue. Tickets cost $35 for singles and $75 for families of as many as five people. Five donated prize packages, valued between $1,500 and $4,000, were raffled off during the event. Event organizers did not expect to know how much money was raised until later this week.

Rotary Club President Mike Forney was pleased with Saturday’s turnout in the horse arena at Sidney Peak Ranch. He especially was excited about the number of children present.

“Rotary decided we would try to do a family event,” said event committee member Roberta Gill, noting activities such as pony rides, family photos, a bounce castle and face painting. “We’re trying to promote an event that will be a continuing event through the years.”

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