Bond backers brave wind to wave signs |

Bond backers brave wind to wave signs

Nicole Frey

EDWARDS – Bundled up in hats, gloves and sweaters against the blustery Saturday cold, about a dozen kids and adults waved green and white signs calling for people to vote “Yes on 3B,” a $128 million school bond that will relieve crowding and update Eagle County Schools. Stationed on each corner of the U.S. Highway 6 intersection in Edwards, the campaigners cheered, waved and encouraged drivers to honk their horns in support of the school bond. Standing on the street corner near Riverwalk Village, 10-year-olds Slaten Forbes and Rio Garton would chase cars that honked along. Running along the adjacent sidewalk, the boys wildly waved their signs. “We’re trying to get people to vote yes on 3B, so schools can have more money,” Forbes said, balancing his sign on his thick hat complete with earflaps. Forbes is just in the fifth grade at Edwards Elementary School, but he’s thinking ahead. He knows passing a bond will mean a new high school in the Edwards area.”I’ve heard that Battle Mountain is way too crowded,” he said. Forbes is putting in the time for 3B, but he’s got another election race on his mind – his battle to secure the vice presidency at Edwards Elementary. The red and blue rubber bands on his braces flashed at he proudly said he’s kept his campaign for student council positive – no smear ads.It’s got heartLouise Funk, who heads up Citizens for Educational Excellence, trying to pass the bond, is similarly proud of her upbeat campaign. “We weren’t glamorous, we weren’t big and bold, but it was a campaign with a lot of heart,” Funk said. The “honk and wave,” which will continue through Tuesday, was just one of the tactics political group Citizens for Educational Excellence used to get the bond passed. The “Yes on 3B team” also gathered dozens of volunteers – teachers, parents, administrators and regular Joes – to hand-write postcards about how the bond would improve their lives. They’ve also written letters to the local media. The volunteers knocked on doors, talking to voters and leaving informative flyers when people weren’t home. And about 8,000 automated phone calls went out around the district in attempt to educate the public. The team raised about $52,000 to make it all happen. All the work has left campaigners tired, to say the least.”I tear up when I think about it for too long,” Funk said. “But it’s an excited tear. It’s a exhausted tear.” A good feeling – almostFunk and her crew said they’re cautiously optimistic about the bond passing. Voters haven’t been polled recently, it’s just the “feeling on the street,” Funk said. “I’ve been talking to folks up and down the valley, and everywhere I go, people are saying to me, ‘I feel good about this Louise.'” Back on the street corner, kids did the cancan and the wave to keep their energy up, 12-year-old Bailey Garton said. While the kids, by and large, knew about the high school that would be built if the bond passed, they weren’t sure what else the bond would do – build an elementary school, buy land on the west end of the district for a future high school, remodel Eagle Valley High School and provide for repairs and technological updates around the district. But the kids can’t be blamed. Their parents focused on the new high school too. “This five-star resort needs to get a high school that’s worthy,” said mother and campaigner Dana Cook.===============================Want to know more?E-mail Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or Vail, Colorado

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