Steamboat Springs School might be out for summer, as so eloquently put by Alice Cooper, but the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs is very much in.
Steamboat toddlers and teens (as well as their parents) can thank longtime local Heather Martyn for that.
Martyn, 37, founded the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat in June 2009 at the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street to provide healthy, out-of-school alternatives to youths in town.
“I wanted to do something for the kids here,” says Martyn, who previously held various property management and real estate jobs. “A friend told me about a group that wanted the club started here, so we conducted a survey and needs assessment. After a year of legwork, we were able to open.”
Although it hasn’t been easy, Martyn’s never-give-up nature helped. So, likely, did her connections in town.
Martyn moved here after graduating from high school in Sheridan, Wyo., in 1992 at age 18 “to be a ski bum.” Hooked for life, she then moved back permanently after graduating from Colorado State University in 1996.
Her family ties to town run even deeper. Her grandfather, Joe Deurloo, ran a dairy where Steamboat Campground sits west of town on U.S. Highway 40 and later owned a car dealership and garage where Old West Steakhouse resides. Her father, Robert, lived here through high school.
Now Martyn — who lives with husband, Renn, and children Andrew, 14, Ryan, 12, and Lander, 8 months, on a ranch in the south valley at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass — is happy to give back to a community where she has so much heritage.
The club provides activities for youths ages 6 to 18, including sports, arts, crafts and educational programming, all for just $1 an hour or $10 per day (with the $25 membership fee). While Martyn still is soliciting funding for improvements, she’s pleased to report that the club has served nearly 900 kids since its inception.
“We had a few struggles at first, but we’ve put some great collaborations together with people in the community,” she says. “I’m thrilled with how it’s been received. Steamboat is a great community, and the people here are wonderful.”