Friday’s Java & Jazz supports Steamboat’s mentoring nonprofit |

Friday’s Java & Jazz supports Steamboat’s mentoring nonprofit

Nicole Inglis

— For every local youth matched up with an adult mentor through Partners in Routt County, there is one on the waiting list waiting for the same opportunity.

The 16-year-old nonprofit organization is always looking for more adult “partners” to take on a mentoring role in an at-risk youth's life — especially men — but the organization also is finding more ways to reach out to its junior partners-in-waiting.

"We do believe that there's a need out there," Partners Executive Director Michelle Petix said. "With the economy, you're going see the risk factors increase — single-parent families, parents working a lot. We've looked at how can we also serve other kids in the community that need a little extra attention or support."

Now, those 29 children on the waiting list have a mentor to connect with, too.

A new program piloted in the spring called Lunch Partners pairs one of the youths waiting for a full-time mentor with a volunteer for a casual, healthy lunch a few times a month during school.

Petix, who was a member of the founding board of Partners in Routt County and took over as director in June, said it's a good recruitment tool for mentors as well.

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"The reviews were really good," Petix said. "The junior partners were more likely to go to school that day."

On Friday, Partners presents its only fundraiser of the year, which will support its expanding programs as well as activities for the 30 existing partnered pairs.

Java & Jazz features live music from the Andy Pratt Jazz Quartet, cocktails and coffee and a loaded silent auction.

The auction features 100 items valued at more than $30,000, including a Steamboat Ski Area season pass, a vacation in Cabo San Lucas, golf at Catamount Ranch & Club, a Steamboat Pilot & Today advertising package, a plane ride and a day with Steamboat Powdercats.

The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at the Larson Barn, located on Colorado Highway 131 just past Haymaker Golf Course. Tickets are $50 per person or $80 per couple and are available at the Partners office or at the door.

Petix said the fundraiser is important to the organization because unlike government funding and some grants, the funds can be used for any aspect of the nonprofit.

Some of those programs include the activities the mentoring pairs participate in, like rafting trips and life skills retreats, as well as Partners' school-based mentoring program that recently expanded into Steamboat’s elementary schools. The school-based mentoring program has been in place for many years at Routt County middle schools and receives funding from the Steamboat Springs Education Fund.

"It's nice to have the general support for all the activities the kids do, our staff training and office," Petix said about Java & Jazz’s benefits. "I will say this particular event, it's so great just getting that Partners message out there."

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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