Buddies to hold party for kids
Friday, junior and senior “buddies” will celebrate Christmas early by heading up the Eagle Bahn Express Gondola at Lionshead to preview Adventure Ridge for a night of snow tubing, ice skating, laser tag and more. Santa Claus will make an appearance, too, bringing gifts for the children.
“The Buddies Program is an extremely important youth program in our community and it is our pleasure to share the holiday spirit with these kids,” says Bill Jensen, chief operating officer at Vail Mountain.
The program will be celebrating its 21st anniversary next year. Under the umbrella of The Resource Center, it provides children ages 6 to 17 with adult mentors who are positive role models in their lives. Mentors spend three hours per week with their buddies and develop a close relationship in which the child has the opportunity to grow and learn from an adult.
During their time together each week, buddies and their mentors attend events, participate in outdoor activities, focus on homework and spend quality time together with an emphasis placed on the child’s wishes and needs.-
“The Buddies Program is grateful for the opportunity Vail Resorts has provided, bringing all of these children and their buddies together for a yearly holiday party,” says Scott Smith, director of the program. “Adventure Ridge is our most popular event of the year.”
This year there are 43 mentor matches, and 23 children are on the waiting list in need of an adult mentor. For more information call Smith at 949-7097.
Adventure Ridge opens to the public Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., offering snow-tubing, ski-biking, snowmobile tours, kids snowmobiling, laser tag and other activities. For more information, call 476-9090.
Melina Valsecia said her experience as an immigrant in Eagle County helped her understand the need for a new way of looking at how service providers engage with the growing Latino population, many of whom are first- or second-generation immigrants.