Red Ribbon Project hosts Eagle Music Festival this Saturday
The Red Ribbon Project is hosting its annual fundraising music festival at Boneyard in Eagle this Saturday. All funds raised will go towards supporting their education programs across Eagle County.
Red Ribbon Project, a local non-profit that provides life-skills education programs to reduce teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, is holding its annual fundraising event, the Eagle Music Festival, this Saturday evening.
Starting at 4 p.m. at The Boneyard in Eagle, the festival will feature live music performances from Eagle Valley High School student band Trees Don’t Move, followed by the Johnny Schleper Band. The Boneyard will have food and drink specials, as well as a robust silent auction with something for everyone.
Trees Don’t Move has been performing at the event since its members were in middle school, and will be playing covers ranging from Green Day and Blink-182 to Nirvana and Johnny Cash, as well as some originals from their upcoming debut album.
“We’ve got a pretty wide variety of music in our catalogue,” said lead guitarist Christian Dent. “This is a great opportunity to play for a good cause.”
Red Ribbon Project was established in 1996 in response to the growing need for HIV/AIDS resources in Eagle County, and has since grown to offer curriculum on a variety of subjects, including puberty, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), interpersonal relationships, bullying and more.
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The organization runs health programs for middle and high school students across the valley, reaching around 2,250 students each year and working closely with the school districts to connect students with the information and resources they need to make safe and healthy decisions.
In 2011, Red Ribbon Project began initiating programs to decrease teen pregnancy in our community. Thanks in large part to the education and resources made available by RRP, Eagle County has seen a 79% decrease in teen pregnancy in the course of a single decade, moving from 70 teen births in 2008 to 17 in 2018.
Denise Kipp has been the executive director of the Red Ribbon Project since 2011.
“It started very small, very grassroots, and over the years the schools have come to rely on us to provide this information,” Kipp said. “Health education nationwide tends to get swept under the carpet, it becomes secondary to reading, writing and math. Education has suffered so many budget cuts, and teachers are charged with doing more and more each year that they really have so much gratitude for us taking on this very important piece to keep teens safe, healthy and educated on all of these topics.”
The programming that Red Ribbon Project provides to schools is constantly evolving to meet the changing times and demographics of the county.
“We have this coordinated and comprehensive program that has grown based on the community’s needs,” Kipp said. “After about five years of teens having cell phones, juvenile probation came to us because there were all of these incidents with sexting. They asked if we could teach kids about the consequences of sexting because that is child pornography, and it’s a felony, but they don’t know this stuff. I’m also sending my staff to professional development on how to best create inclusive environments for the LGBTQ community. The school district doesn’t always have the resources to do that.”
The Eagle Music Festival is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and fundraising will be critical after a pandemic year that demanded more from Red Ribbon Project than their budget allotted for.
“Because of the hybrid schedule in the high schools, in order to reach every kid in-person we had to double the amount of time that we were in schools,” Kipp said. “This year we are back to normal, we are very thankful for that, but we’re still making up the loss from last year with the increased programming that we had to do. We also couldn’t have our fundraising event last summer, so it was like a double whammy on our budget.”
It costs around $11 per student to provide quality, engaging content, so the organization is recommending a $10 donation at the door to cover the cost of educating a single student. All funds raised will go towards financing the education programs that middle and high school students need to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
“We’re here to provide fact-based, science-based information, and from there you can use the values and morals that you were raised with and the information you’re taught in our programs to make the best decisions for your future,” Kipp said.
For more information about the Eagle Music Festival and the work that Red Ribbon Project is doing in Eagle County, visit redribbonproject.org.
– Saturday, August 21 at 4 p.m.
– The Boneyard in Eagle
– $10 recommended donation at the door
– More information at redribbonproject.org.