Ty Perry: Volunteers who spoke out were trying to save STARS program
I want to say thank you to Kari Harden and the the Steamboat Pilot & Today for the article, “Taking a stand: STARS volunteers speak out after more than 20 terminated.”
When I moved to Steamboat five years ago, while grieving the loss of my wife, I heard about STARS as a way to get a pass by volunteering. Selfish as that was, I knew by the end of the season the pass was the least of my reward.
My first friends in Steamboat were the STARS staff and fellow volunteers and spending days skiing with clients was the best feeling ever. I felt that STARS was source of pride for the community. I was voted co-rookie of the year that season and was hooked.
I worked the next two seasons and the summer as a part-time, then a full-time staff member. During that time, I witnessed staggering staff turnover, and I also left, citing the need for a higher paying job. The truth is I would have stayed in a less toxic work environment. I believe that most of the others who left felt the same.
My hat is off to the volunteers who spoke up and stood up for the STARS mission and endured being fired for it. I will lend them my support and believe that they are really and truly trying to help save the program that I so enjoyed that first season. The damaged reputation the program has experienced the past few years has been, in my opinion, internally generated.
This work is not finished until the rift has been healed, and these brave and selfless people are back serving the STARS mission on and off the snow.
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