Tom Ross: Are you ready boots? Start walkin’ |

Tom Ross: Are you ready boots? Start walkin’

Rotary Barn Dance fundraiser delights 500 for a nice cause

Tom Ross

I went to sleep Saturday night dreaming of a trip for two to Alaska and boating through the fjords to spot grizzly bears, but I awoke Sunday morning to find I didn't have any phone messages from the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, and now, it's late Monday afternoon, and they still haven't called.

I'm convinced there are two kinds of people in the world — those who often win great door prizes and those who don't. About five years ago, I won a free day off work from my employer during our Thanksgiving holiday buffet luncheon. That was pretty sweet. Come to think of it, the boss always has nice door prizes at our annual party.

Outside of the Thanksgiving buffet, I think my next best raffle prize was either a bag of Lay's potato chips or a logo ball cap. I guess I should buy more tickets.

In case you missed it, the Rotary Club hosted its third annual Barn Dance Saturday at Sidney Peak Ranch. It was a wonderful family affair with some of the best door prizes I've never won. I'm afraid of grizzly bears anyway.

Luckily for all 500 of us who attended Saturday's Barn Dance, you didn't have to win a door prize to be a winner. The barbecue prepared by Rex's American Grill & Bar was really scrumptious (can I get the recipe for baked potato salad?).

And what could be better than kicking up your heels while making a modest contribution to the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs and the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs local charities? Did you know that the Boys & Girls Club didn't open its doors until June 2009, and already it has 1,000 members (at $25 for a membership) and serves about 150 kids a day? Here's the kicker: The after-school program is free, and youngsters can visit for $1 an hour during in-service days during the school year and during the course of summer vacation.

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Steve Hitchcock and Ellen Kendall were the co-chairs of this year's Rotary Barn Dance and pulled off a complex event with the help of about 10 very important lieutenants. Hitchcock told me the Boys & Girls Club became involved in hosting the event, too.

"They were really a great partner organization," he said. "They had representatives at all of our organizing meetings and took charge of organizing the activities for kids (including the presence of a big red truck from the Steamboat Springs Fire Department). It was a great event for toddlers and grandparents and everyone in-between."

The good folks at Sidney Peak kicked their horses out of their own riding arena and made it available at no charge while Sundog and guest fiddler Randy Kelley made it comfortable for folks who haven't gone out dancing in five months to lose their inhibitions. Who knew that the Nancy Sinatra classic, "These Boots are Made for Walkin," was a country western song? Thanks for that sexy blast from the past Deanna Webb.

Are you ready boots? Start walkin'.

Oh yeah, the door prizes.

There was a two-night getaway with lodging and meals plus two suite level Broncos tickets and VIP parking. You could put your tickets down for a combo helicopter and airplane excursion, or bid on radio and newspaper advertising packages. Zirkel Trading put up an entire men's wardrobe, Orange Peel kicked in a handsome black cruiser bike, and the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. got together with Christy Sports to give away a six-day PURE pass together with Rossignol skis and Dalbello boots.

The gourmet package included dinner for two at five restaurants: Rex's, Mazzola's Majestic Italian Diner, Big House Burgers, Cottonwood Grill and Three Peaks Grill. The family fun prize included skating, skiing and high schools sports events.

And of course, there was the trip for two to Alaska including, roundtrip air, five nights in two cities, a wildlife cruise out of Seward and a fishing excursion.

Naturally, the prize I really coveted was the fishing equipment from Steamboat Flyfisher. What can I say? It was a vicarious thrill to see a friend let out a whoop and hold up the winning ticket. Tight lines John!

And congratulations to the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs and The Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat for all that they do for our community.

The final tally on the money raised isn't quite in, but we'll let you know.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail

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