George Avgares, director of Colorado Student Care, distributes school supplies in Maggie Moore’s second grade classroom at Strawberry Park Elementary School on Wednesday morning. Avgares collected the supplies with help from Partners in Routt County, Routt County United Way and Alpine Bank.

Photo by John F. Russell

George Avgares, director of Colorado Student Care, distributes school supplies in Maggie Moore’s second grade classroom at Strawberry Park Elementary School on Wednesday morning. Avgares collected the supplies with help from Partners in Routt County, Routt County United Way and Alpine Bank.

Supply drive benefits Routt County schools

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— George Avgares said he felt a little like Santa Claus on Wednesday morning as he left Strawberry Park Elementary School.

Avgares, the director of the Colorado Student Care center that offers pre-college tutoring to Routt County students, had just finished delivering one of seven 35-gallon tubs packed with donated school supplies to a classroom of students who were excited to see the piles of paper, glue and calculators.

Avgares continued his deliveries with stops at Steamboat Springs Middle School, Soda Creek Elementary School and the elementary and middle schools in South Routt School District. On Thursday, he’ll make the final delivery to Hayden Middle School.

“I know that there are a lot of families struggling in the economy right now, and I figured they needed the supplies and the support of the community so they make sure students can succeed,” Avgares said.

For the past two weekends, Avgares, who partnered with Routt County United Way, Partners in Routt County and Alpine Bank to collect the supplies, stood in front of Walmart with other volunteers to collect pens, pencils, paper and other supplies.

“It was a bit lonely out there at times, but I got to meet a lot of parents and teachers who were excited we were doing the drive,” Avgares said. “I’m just happy to give back to this community because they’ve been so giving to me.”

Avgares said the supplies drive netted about $1,700 worth of supplies along with $800 in cash donations that will be used to buy more supplies for the schools this week. He said he’s hoping to double the drive’s total next year.

Lindsay Dietz, Partners in Routt County’s school-based mentoring program manager, said her volunteers were surprised at the high level of community support for the two-week drive.

“We had no idea we would end up with this much,” Dietz said.

— To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email ScottFranz@SteamboatToday.com

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