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Whether you have lived in the Valley for months or years, chances are, you know the Wheeler Opera House. The iconic performance space opened in 1889. After surviving Aspen's quiet years, a damaging fire and several restorations, the stage of the opera house continues to serve up musical and theatrical performances. The opera house is now owned and operated by the City of Aspen, but members of the non-profit Wheeler Associates, work to keep the opera house a community resources. The associates bring a variety of entertainment at affordable prices to benefit the community. This week, board-member Josh Berhman discusses past and future productions and shows brought in by the Wheeler Associates.

Rob St. Mary

For well over 20 years, a staple of Aspen's Main Street opens the doors for a "free lunch" for a good cause every Thanksgiving afternoon.

From 11:30am-4pm today, the Hickory House offered an array of traditional favorites - turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, slaw and bread along with a drink and a pumpkin pie, of course, for the low, low price of "free". But, donations - suggested at $5 a plate - would go to help the Buddy Program

Mountain Valley Developmental Services sets itself apart from similar organizations with their two major projects: Art on 8th and their greenhouse. Art on 8th is a gallery on 8th street in Glenwood Springs that sells woven goods made by weavers with developmental disabilities (who also receive services from Mountain Valley) and proceeds go back into Mountain Valley programs. The greenhouse project is a collaborative effort with neighboring Sopris Elementary School, where students and adults with developmental disabilities work together in the greenhouse; growing fresh food and learning sustainable horticultural techniques. Bruce Christensen, Executive Director, and Dana Peterson, Director of Human Resources, of Mountain Valley, discuss these two projects. 

Mountain Valley Developmental Services provides aid and programs to over 450 developmentally disabled individuals in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. Adult programs are a large part of the organization; they provice several housing options, assist in employment opportunities, offer medical care and have a variety of enrichment services, which consist of recreational activities and volunteering for other local groups. This week, Bruce Christensen, Executive Director, and Dana Peterson, Director of Human Resources, discuss Mountain Valley's housing programs and share memorable stories of finding employment for their clients.

  Mountain Valley Developmental Services is an expansive non-profit based out of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Their mission is to encourage and support individuals with developmental disabilities, enhance their ability to live, learn and work while educating the community about their contributions and capabilities. It is one of the largest non-profits in the Roaring Fork Valley, employing over 150 staff and over 50 contracted professionals. Mountain Valley reaches over 450 individuals and families in Eagle, Garfield, Lake and Pitkin County. Executive Director, Bruce Christensen, gives an overview of the organization. 

There are two traveling pre-schools in the Roaring Fork Valley -- in the form of short buses. El Busesito is the name for each of these buses. They currently provide 3-hours of pre-school time for 90 children in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Early childhood education is one the goals for the Valley Settlement Project, a project focused on incorporating and encouraging immigrant and low-income communities in the Roaring Fork Valley. The project is run by The Manaus Fund. 

The Manaus Fund's Valley Settlement Project is comprised of three main focuses: early childhood education, after school programs and adult education. This week, we meet Marisol, a parent mentor whose life has changed since her involvement with the Valley Settlement Project. The parent mentor program is one of many parts of the adult education focus, including english classes, computer enhancement programs and GED prep-courses. George Stranahan, founder of The Manaus Fund and Senior Advisor of The Valley Settlement Project, and Morgan Jacober, Project Director of The Valley Settlement Project are also featured in this episode.

The Valley Settlement Project is going into its second year, and is Carbondale's Manaus Fund's greatest project to date. The project is broken into three parts: early childhood education, after school programs and adult educational classes, which include a parent mentor program, english and GED-prep classes and computer skill workshops. George Stranahan, Founder of The Manaus Fund and Senior Advisor of the Valley Settlement Project, and Morgan Jacober, Project Director of the Valley Settlement Project are featured in this episode.

For more on The Manaus Fund: http://www.manausfund.org/

"Never do for others what they can do for themselves". This is the underlying philosophy of The Manaus Fund and its founder, George Stranahan. The Manaus Fund operates out of Carbondale's Third Street Center and addresses localized social issues by investing in non-profit organizations and projects in the Roaring Fork Valley. Social entrepreneurship, investment and community involvement are the core values of The Manaus Fund and are essential to the Fund's latest endeavor: The Valley Settlement Project. George Stranahan, Founder of The Manaus Fund and Senior Advisor of the Valley Settlement Project, Ellen Freedman, Executive Director of The Manaus Fund, and Morgan Jacober, Project Director of the Valley Settlement Project are featured in this episode.

For more on The Manaus Fund: http://www.manausfund.org/

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