Hoedown fundraiser in Wolcott raises money for kids Friday night | VailDaily.com

Hoedown fundraiser in Wolcott raises money for kids Friday night

Nikki Inglis
Vail, CO Colorado

Special to the DailySpecial to the Daily

WOLCOTT, Colorado ” Put on your best line dancing shoes Friday night for the eighth annual East West Hoedown, a Western-themed fund raiser put on by Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate, East West Partners, East West Resorts and Allegria Spa.

This year’s event, to be held at 4 Eagle Ranch, features dancing, music by local favorites, the Laughing Bones, and a silent auction with items ranging from free car washes, to dinners at Larkspur, to weekend getaways.

“We have 130 items this year,” said Cara Connolly, event organizer. “That really says a lot about what Vail can do as a community.”

The organizing committee got together and nominated three charities to benefit from the fundraiser, which raises about $40,000 annually. This year’s charities are Court Appointed Special Advocates, Colorado West Mental Health, and the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, none of which have previously been chosen.

Conolly said that it is important to the committee to choose charities that benefit the youth of the community.

CASA of the Continental Divide will be the main beneficiary this year, receiving 50 percent of the proceeds from the Hoedown. CASA is a national nonprofit organization that provides aid to youth who are involved in the justice system.

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“There is no organization that does what CASA does,” Connolly said. “It might be a child who’s been the victim of abuse, or a baby who can’t speak for itself. But these people can’t just write checks to be represented.”

Kathy Reed, executive director of CASA of the Continental Divide, is “thrilled” that the organization has been chosen.

“We’re just so happy to be a part of this event,” Reed said. “It’s really going to help us get the resources we need to provide aid to children in need.”

CASA operates with four staff advocates and over 40 volunteers. And the numbers are growing every year. In 2007, the organization represented 12 children in Eagle County. That number has grown to 29 this year, the second largest number of cases in CASA’s four-county jurisdiction. But this growth is not necessarily due to an increasing number of children in need, Reed said.

“I think there’s really been a shift in the philosophy of Eagle County,” she said. “People have really started reaching out, and more people are getting involved in the community from the ground up.”

Reed said that the donation they will receive from this event will be one of their biggest of the year.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, and the cost is $75 for individuals and $140 for couples. And don’t forget to wear your Western attire.

“The bigger the cowboy hat the better,” Connolly said.