Jefferson/Jackson Dinner goes green

Democratic candidates to speak, gain support at annual fundraising event


If you go

What: Routt County Democratic Party Jefferson/Jackson Dinner

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, next to the Stock Bridge Transit Center

Cost: Suggested donation: $25 for adults, $15 for college students, free for ages 18 and younger

Other: Take a potluck dish to share.

— Routt County Democrats will gather this weekend with Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, to drum up support for party candidates and raise funds during the annual Jefferson/Jackson Dinner.

"It's inclusive - it's a community event. It has a fundraiser, but it's also geared toward hearing our democratic candidates' values, proposals and ideas," Routt County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson said.

In addition to a potluck dinner and live and silent auctions, Saturday's event will feature a keynote address from Romanoff and appearances from local candidates.

"The big to-do in most cities for the Democrats is the Jefferson/Jackson Dinner, like how the Republicans have their Lincoln Dinner," Routt County Democratic Party Communications Director Lynn Abbott said. The event has steadily grown since its Routt County inception four years ago, Abbott said.

Local Democratic candidates Todd Hagenbuch and Ken Brenner also will address attendees, as will Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger, who is running unopposed for the District 2 seat.

Hagenbuch, executive director of Historic Routt County and a Phippsburg resident, is running for House District 57, the seat to be vacated by Rep. Al White, R-Hayden, who is running for the District 8 state Senate seat. Republicans Randy Baumgartner of Hot Sulphur Springs and Dan Korkowski of Grand Lake also are running for the House seat, which represents Routt, Moffat, Grand, Garfield, Jackson and Rio Blanco counties.

Brenner, a former Steamboat Springs city councilman, is challenging White for Senate District 8, the seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs.

The dinner will be held at the new Steamboat Springs Community Center, which opened last month. The center aims to become the first building in Northwest Colorado to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, signifying that the building has been recognized as environmentally friendly by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Jefferson/Jackson Dinner's new home and its green status prompted the county Democrats to make their premier annual event greener, too.

"We're basically having a waste-free event," Carson said. "Our volunteers have worked extremely hard on borrowing the flatware and the plates, and accumulating items we can use and reuse."

"With the Democrats, one of our obvious values is environmental responsibility and sustainability," Carson said. "This year in particular, with the community center, we made a big push."

The annual Jefferson/Jackson Dinner's live and silent auctions are the party's primary fundraiser, with some of the proceeds to benefit Democratic candidates.

"A lot of our effort and money goes into supporting our values and our goals, and we're really committed to growing our membership," Abbott said.

Prizes up for bid include a Weekend Bronco Getaway Package, an R.C. Dieckhoff glicee, a full-day guided fishing trip, Cate Potyen necklace and earrings and a wellness package.


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