Steamboat youth take on ambitious philanthropic effort |

Steamboat youth take on ambitious philanthropic effort

Routt County Charity Hoe Down committee members with Routt County United Way Executive Director Kate Nowak.
courtesy photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — You should never underestimate the youth in the Steamboat Springs community.
Summer has been no vacation for a group of Steamboat Springs High School students who, since April, have been planning an ambitious fundraiser to benefit Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports, or STARS, and Routt County United Way.
“They’ve worked really hard to put this event together,” STARS Executive Director Julie Taulman said. “If we don’t get a dime, that’s fine. “It’s more about supporting the kids.”
The inaugural Routt County Charity Hoe Down is being themed United Under the Stars, and the students hope to raise $15,000 for the two nonprofits.
The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12 at the La Joya Dulce ranch north of Steamboat and will feature plenty of food, including a pig roast, dancing, silent auction and drinks. Local breweries and liquor stores have donated as well.
Tickets are $40 for adults, $30 for students and $15 for kids five and younger. They can be purchased through the event’s website at
The six-member committee of students planning the entire event is headed up by Maddie Craigen, who is going into her junior year.
“It’s been a lot of work, but it hasn’t been as much as it would have been if we didn’t have the support of the community behind us,” Craigen said. “Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun, I would say, more than work.”
Philanthropy is important to Craigen and the other community members.
The first of many steps in putting on this event was finding a venue, and they put a call out to La Joya Dulce, which is a popular wedding venue.
“She got back to us within 30 minutes and said we’ll donate the whole venue,” Craigen said.
The community support kept on coming, and they have numerous sponsors donating their services as well as money ranging from $100 to $5,000. HLCC Construction, and the luxury vacation home lodging company Moving Mountains have been the biggest contributors. Moving Mountains will also be providing shuttle service from Steamboat to the venue.
“I think a lot of people were open to helping because they’re kids, and they want to so see them do good things,” Craigen said.
The other committee members are Maddie Ward, McKinley Muhlbauer, Cosette McLaughlin, Prasamsha Sapkota and Remy St. Pierre.
“It was just kind of a spur of the moment thing, and it turned into this big fundraiser,” St. Pierre said.
The STARS and United Way benefactors have been especially important to St. Pierre through the years.
“All the organizations have done a lot for me and a lot for other people,” St. Pierre said.
St. Pierre uses a wheelchair, and United Way helped his family install an elevator in their home.
St. Pierre has also participated in the STARS winter camps where he got to ski. During the summer, he got to ride horses, go fishing, kayaking and biking.
“I did a little bit of everything,” St. Pierre said. “It was really fun.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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