Non-Profit in the Spotlight

Each month, Aspen Public Radio highlights a different non-profit in the Roaring Fork Valley with a new feature, "Non-Profit in the Spotlight". These organizations support our community through the promotion of arts, music, animal well-being, education, environmental stewardship, social support and more. Tune in every week for a new episode focusing on a different aspect of each organization throughout the month.

If you know, or are part of, a local non-profit organization that would like to be featured on Aspen Public Radio's "Non-Profit in the Spotlight", please contact Cornelia Carpenter at cornelia@aspenpublicradio.org or (970) 920-9000.

This program is intended to highlight organizations that have limited budgets and operate primarily in the Roaring Fork Valley and are licensed as 501(c)(3) organizations.

Logan Hood is the Executive Director of RESPONSE. She says sexual assault and domestic violence is far  too common - even in the Roaring Fork Valley. Hood discusses issues in the valley, challenges the organization faces, and how communities can rally together for no-tolerance. 

Learn more about RESPONSE at www.ResponseHelps.org, or call the 24-hour support and crisis hotline at 925-SAFE. 

October is domestic violence awareness month. Sue Smedstad and Keith Ikeda, board members of RESPONSE, share the history of the organization and its importance in the Roaring Fork Valley. The mission of RESPONSE is to support, educate, and empower victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Roaring Fork Valley.

If you, or someone you know, are suffering from abuse, please call the RESPONSE support and crisis hotline: 925-SAFE (7233). Learn more about RESPONSE at www.responsehelps.org

This week, Connor Colman, the Stewardship Director of Aspen Valley Land Trust, talks about the new technologies used to monitor lands protected and owned by AVLT, including orthoimagery. In addition, Suzanne Stephens, the associate director, and Martha Cochran, the executive director of AVLT, discuss the future and challenges facing the organization. 

Learn more about AVLT and the lands they protect at www.avlt.org

Suzanne Stephens is the Associate Director of Aspen Valley Land Trust. She works with landowners to conserve open lands and working ranches in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys. Martha Cochran, Executive Director of AVLT, also contributes to the conservation. We talk about water conservation, land conservation, and why it is important today and tomorrow.   

Learn more about Aspen Valley Land Trust and the properties they protect: www.avlt.org.

This week, the 2014 National Sheepdog Finals will be held on the Strang Ranch above Carbondale. Bridget Strang is the event's host and talks about the history of the event, what to expect, and how you can attend. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to Aspen Valley Land Trust. Martha Cochran is the Executive Director of the land trust and shares why this partnership was a natural fit.

Through partnerships between landowners and Aspen Valley Land Trust, almost 40,000 acres of land have been conserved. Martha Cochran, Executive Director of Aspen Valley Land Trust, and Chuck Vidal, former board member and former Executive Director of the land trust, discuss the history of the organization and the need for land conservation in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys.

The Thrift Shop of Aspen takes in countless items - clothing, outdoor gear, accessories and all manner of chachkies. The shop staff are the self-proclaimed "original recyclers" - taking used items and giving them value and reselling them. All the money raised in the shop is poured back into the Roaring Fork Valley in the form of grants and scholarships. Ellen Walbert a board member and volunteer shares about volunteering, and finding obscure items. Diane Wallace is the co-President and long-time volunteer, and shares about being the "original recyclers".

Paul Anderson, Adam McCabe, Dr. Jerry Alpern, and Janice Nark are all involved with the non-profit Huts for Vets. We discuss the two new programs Huts for Vets is taking on. The first is a partnership with Western State University in Gunnison, Colorado, which aims to help veterans enter college life by building relationships with other enrolled veterans. The second program is a women's hut trip, where the focus will be on issues women face overseas and when they come home.

The mission for Huts for Vets is simple: to help veterans adjust to and enjoy civilian life by gaining tools for enhancing mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. The organization takes groups of veterans up to the 10th Mountain Division Huts for three days of hiking, discussion, and reflection. Guests on this show include Paul Anderson, Executive Director, Dr. Jerry Alpern, board member and psychologist, and Adam McCabe, retired combat veteran, instructor, and board member.

Huts for Vets is a new non-profit, founded in January 2013. The organization lead two programs last summer, introducing 15 veterans to the serenity and calm of the wilderness - almost all of whom said the experience changed their life. Paul Anderson is the Executive Director of Huts for Vets and shares about the mission and programs of the non-profit organization. Dr. Jerry Alpern is a psychologist and a member of the board, he shares about the value of Huts for Vets. 

Learn more about Huts for Vets and Huts for Vets programs on their website: www.hutsforvets.org

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