Java & Jazz fundraiser for Partners is Sunday

Partners looks to raise money for new school-based mentor

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Java and Jazz

Partners' in Routt County's annual fundraiser is taking place Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at Lake Catamount. Libby Foster and Katie Neiert invite the community for coffee this Sunday afternoon and talk about what the organization represents to this community on the Steamboat Today morning show.

Partners' in Routt County's annual fundraiser is taking place Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at Lake Catamount. Libby Foster and Katie Neiert invite the community for coffee this Sunday afternoon and talk about what the organization represents to this community on the Steamboat Today morning show.

If you go

What: Partners in Routt County's Java & Jazz fundraiser

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Lake Catamount clubhouse

Cost: Tickets can be purchased at All That Jazz or the door for $50

Call: Partners in Routt County at 879-6141 for more information

Learn more about Partners in Routt County at www.partnersroutt...>

Partners in Routt County is in the unusual position of having won a grant that has increased its financial need.

The mentoring organization that serves at-risk children ages 7 to 17 received a federal stimulus grant of $12,600, executive director Libby Foster said, but the award came with the condition that Partners add a seventh, full-time AmeriCorps mentor to its roster.

Foster said the grant amount is less than half of the cost of the new mentor, who has been placed at the Steamboat Springs Middle School. Foster said proceeds from Partners' annual Java & Jazz fundraiser will help support the addition.

In its third year, Java & Jazz is Partners' major annual fundraising effort.

"This is our big one. We put all of our energy into this one," Foster said. "The board and staff put a lot into this event to make it one that's going to be enjoyable and unique to the community. : We've got lots of supporters in the county, and we hope those people support us again."

The event is from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Lake Catamount and will feature local coffee houses, roasters and baristas serving coffees, teas and specialty drinks.

"We've got a ton of really delicious gourmet food lined up with Catamount," Foster said. "We think people will really enjoy that."

There will be jazz concerts throughout the event featuring the Jon Ridnell Quartet.

"The event was such a huge success last year thanks mostly to our sponsors and the originality of the event," Partners board member Craig Kennedy said in a news release. "We are very excited for another great Java & Jazz to help support our kids."

In a departure from previous years, Foster said there will not be a live auction at this year's event. There will still be a silent auction, however, with items including a weeklong stay at a cabin on Lake Champlain in Vermont, restaurant packages, jewelry and skis.

Foster said about 150 people have attended the event in previous years. She said Partners hopes for about 175 attendees this year, and has set a goal of raising $27,000. All proceeds will go toward the school-based mentoring program and Partners one-to-one mentoring program.

Mentors in the school-based program work with 448 "target," at-risk students in Routt County middle schools and assist them with academic, social-emotional issues and personal choices in regard to health, alcohol, drugs and delinquency. There are two mentors each at Soroco and Hayden middle schools. The stimulus grant led to a third mentor being placed at Steamboat Springs Middle School.

The one-to-one mentoring program pairs a child or teenager with an adult in the community who has been recruited, screened, trained and supervised by Partners. The adult volunteers commit to spending three hours a week for a year with their "junior partners" as friends, advocates and role models. In 2008, 75 children and teenagers were served.

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