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December 12, 2012
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It takes more than just a red suit and a white beard to make a truly convincing Santa Claus performance.

And a pair of locals who bill themselves as Santa Claus and the Tallest Elf in the World - known in real life as Clark and Ralph -pride themselves in perfecting the parts.

Santa Claus and the Tallest Elf in the World have scheduled their annual trek to Eagle for Sunday, Dec. 16, at Paradigms Restaurant. The duo will be at the eatery between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Paradigms will serve a special brunch menu during the event.

Their appearance is sponsored by local donors who contribute to a not-for-profit organization called Santa Claus is Coming to Town LLC and organized by Shanah Windey-Bale.

"I started this organization in an effort for the kids to still believe in Santa Claus and in a joint effort to give back to the community," said Windey-Bale. "Parents last year left in tears as they were so thankful that this Santa and Elf ensemble truly do make their children still believe in the magic of Christmas."

Parents are urged to bring cameras to the event. During Santa's visit, Paradigms Restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch, so call ahead and make your reservations at 328-7990.

This event is brought to the community solely by local sponsorship, and also gives back to the community.

"We only ask that any family attending bring either a toy for the Mason/Eagle Fire Department Toy Drive, something for the Eagle Food Pantry, or a cash donation to either one of these charities," said Windey-Bale. "The message we are trying to tell the kids is that it's good to give."

Santa Claus is Coming to Town is still in need of local sponsors. To make a donation to help fund the event or for additional information contact 970-390-8154.

By losing a match last week, Eagle Valley High School freshman Conner McGillvray showed he is a true winner.

According to Devils wrestling coach Ron Beard, the team was competing at the Buena Vista Demon Duals Dec. 8. Conner, who wrestles at 113 pounds, was paired against a boy named Cody Marshall from Clear Creek High School. Cody suffers learning and physical disabilities, and is an enthusiastic wrestler for the Gold Diggers.

Coach Beard and Coach Luke Cross spoke with Conner prior to the match to let him know about his upcoming opponent. Beard said wrestlers have been generous with Cody, making sure he scores points in every match.

"When Coach Cross and I talked to Conner, we said whatever you decided to do is appropriate," said Beard. "We did not know that Conner was going to let him win. Conner just said the kid was working hard for it and it felt like the right thing to do to let Cody get his hand raised at the end."

That moment marked Cody's first win.

"Nobody has ever had the courage to let the kid win. Lots of kids let him get points," said Beard. "I was really proud of Conner. He saw the bigger picture."

Beard said when Cody won the match, fans and teams on both sides were shocked. "Nobody expected that kind of generosity from a high school kid."

"The referee actually cried and gave Conner a hug and said he had never seen that kind of sportsmanship in all his years of officiating," said Beard. "The coach from Clear Creek also told Coach Cross and myself that it meant the world to him."

In the end, the Devil wrestlers also were rewarded with a big point tally at Saturday's contest. They dueled and beat Gunnison, Clear Creek and Woodland Park and lost to Buena Vista by a single point.

On Monday, Dec. 17 renowned archaeologist Dr. Mark Varien - research and education chair at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in southwestern Colorado - will discuss a groundbreaking study of ancestral Pueblo society and its implications for our world today.

Dr. Varien received his bachelor's in archaeological studies (1976) and his master's in anthropology (1984) from the University of Texas at Austin. He was also awarded a PhD in anthropology from Arizona State University in 1997.

His lecture, "Deep Ecology of Pueblo Indian Society: Lessons for the Future," is co-sponsored by Walking Mountains Science Center, the Vail Symposium and the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, will be held at the Frechette Field Studies Base Camp building at the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon.

A pre-event reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a post-event reception to allow participants the opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Varien and engage with fellow attendees. The event is a continuation of a popular lecture presented by Dr. Varien in August: "The Roots of Modern Civilization," which was sponsored by both Walking Mountains and the Vail Symposium.

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, in partnership with Indian tribes and a multidisciplinary team of scientists from across America, is conducting an innovative study of the long-term interactions between humans and their environment. Known as the Village Ecodynamics Project (VEP), the study examines Pueblo Indian society in the Southwest from A.D. 600 to 1600. The focus is the Neolithic Revolution, the period when hunting and gathering was replaced by domesticated food production. For Pueblo Indians, this was the time they adopted corn farming and domesticated turkeys.

The VEP employs three major studies: an innovative computer simulation, the analysis of about 25,000 archaeological sites, and an experimental farming project designed by scientists and Pueblo Indians. VEP researchers are creating a detailed reconstruction of the ancient environment and how precipitation and temperature changed annually during that time period. This environmental reconstruction is the basis for an innovative and sophisticated computer simulation in which virtual Pueblo farm families settle the landscape. The virtual families find locations suitable for farming, collect wood for fuel and water for drinking, hunt deer and rabbits, and exchange goods with their neighbors when these activities don't meet their needs.

To register online to attend the lecture, go to the Vail Symposium website,, or call the symposium office at 970-476-0954. Cost for the lecture is $10 per person, and may be paid online or at the door. Space is limited to 100 people, so early registration is encouraged.

Whistling Bullets fires up

The Whistling Bullets 4-H Shooting Sports Club is firing up again for this year.

An organizational meeting was held Wednesday as an opportunity to pay the $40 registration fee for the year and address safety and questions.

Regular shooting starts on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Exhibit Hall.

For more information, call the CSU Extension office at 970-328-8630 or Dave Hammond at 970-390-2429.

• Kids and families from Eagle Valley Elementary School will enjoy a special skating event at the Eagle Ice Rink Friday, Dec. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. The cost is $6 per person and includes skate rental.

• The popular Edwards Farmers Market is back in business for the winter season. Look for fresh produce and local products at the market, which is planned for Sundays, Dec. 1 through March 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Edwards Colorado Mountain College campus.

• Gypsum Town Hall hosts Christmas Bingo from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19. A seven-game pack costs $15, giving players 37 chances to win a holiday ham and Christmas cash. Proceeds benefit the Eagle Valley Booster Club.

• Merchants from Eagle's Broadway area shopping district invite everyone to the Noel Night shopping celebration tonight, Dec. 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. Shops will be open late and will be serving holiday treats. Additionally, participants can register to win a special holiday basket with goods valued at $300.

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The VailDaily Updated Dec 12, 2012 12:54PM Published Dec 12, 2012 12:48PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.