Gypsum Costco hosts one of Eagle County’s biggest fundraisers benefiting Children’s Miracle Network | VailDaily.com

Gypsum Costco hosts one of Eagle County’s biggest fundraisers benefiting Children’s Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network fund-raiser banners greet Gypsum Costco customers at the checkout area. Since it opened in 2006, store has raised more than $320,000 total for Children's Hospital Colorado during the annual May event.

GYPSUM — One of the valley's biggest annual fundraisers is now well underway, as Costco shoppers are well aware.

Every year, Costco partners with Children's Miracle Network for a vast monthlong campaign. In 2017, the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of the partnership, which has generated more than $36 million in total donations.

The Gypsum Costco is the local arm of this effort, and while its home community is small, the store's contribution is mighty.

"Our Gypsum location has raised a total of $320,000 for Children's Miracle Network since we opened in October of 2006," said Gypsum Costco manager Rich Carlson. "And 100 percent of that money we raised stayed in Colorado."

More than any other

The beneficiary of the local effort is the Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation, an independent charitable organization dedicated to advancing the mission of Children's Hospital Colorado. Children's Hospital Colorado is the only nonprofit pediatric hospital in a seven-state region, and the facility sees and treats more kids that any other hospital in the Rocky Mountain region.

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"Every donation to Children's Hospital Colorado provides innovative, family-centered care to children who need care today, while fueling research breakthroughs that will lead to new treatments and cures in the future," Carlson said. "Donor support makes a difference each and every day for the children and families who depend on Children's Hospital."

Last year, the Gypsum store raised $55,290 total, with the Costco company match. That ranked the Gypsum store as the fifth highest fundraiser in its 16-store region.

During May, when shoppers go to the Costco checkout, employees ask if they would like to contribute to the Children's Miracle Network. When they say yes, the customer is handed a paper balloon to fill out, which is then added to a big display at the store. Additionally, the store reaches out to local businesses to purchase display banners that are prominently hung at the checkout area, proclaiming companies' support for the effort.

Lindsay Christian, assistant manger at the Gypsum Costco, noted store employees enjoy the opportunity to raise money for Children's Miracle Network.

"We are off to great start this year," Christian said. "We have a lot of fun every year during the month of May raising money for the kids."

Christian noted that Joe Rosica has been the Gypsum Costco's top fundraiser for the past several years.

"He raised more than $9,000 last year just in balloon sales, not counting all the banner sales he also raised. He has been well over $6,000 in balloon sales a year for several years," Christian said.

Children’s Hospital Colorado

By the numbers (from 2017)

• Provided care to nearly 234,000 patients

• Saw more than 739,000 outpatient visits

• Saw almost 89,000 emergency department and nearly 82,000 urgent-care visits

• Treated patients from all 64 counties in Colorado and all 50 states

• Saw international patients from 29-plus countries

• Performed 21,000 surgeries

• Received nearly $54 million in philanthropic support

• Spent $1 million per day to run the hospital

Source: Children’s Hospital Colorado