No day off for Vail Mountain School students |

No day off for Vail Mountain School students

Matt Terrell
Vail CO, Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVail Mountain School students Shawn Byrne, left, Karlie Moore, Kelsey Samuels, and Kelly Ferry prepare pork to bring to Vail firefighters and police Monday at the school in Vail.

VAIL ” As a tribute to the sweat and sacrifice of Vail police and firefighters, students at Vail Mountain School spent Monday morning pulling apart a big hunk of smoked pork from Moe’s Original Barbecue.

They also cooked a pot of beans, mixed coleslaw, whipped up some banana pudding and delivered it to the police and fire stations at lunch time ” a hearty meal well earned, they said.

Meanwhile, students two hours away were also serving lunch ” but to more than 800 homeless people at the Grant Avenue Street Reach, a soup kitchen in Denver.

While public schools and government buildings shut down Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, students from Vail Mountain School spread out from Denver to Gypsum to do community service projects.

“It’s actually better than taking a day off,” said Axel Spaeh, a senior at Vail Mountain school.

Community service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a long-standing tradition at Vail Mountain School, said Kate Blakslee, community service director at the school.

“He wanted people to take the day on,” Blakslee said. “It’s a wonderful way to honor Martin Luther King Jr., for students to give back to our community.”

Several students drove to Denver for their service, serving lunch to families at the Ronald McDonald House and at Urban Park, a shelter for homeless teens.

Elementary students put together packages of socks and toothbrushes for their older classmates to take to the teens at the shelter.

Another group of students spent the morning at preschools across the valley ” some with kids at the Family Learning Center in Edwards, others at the Mountain Montessori School.

A couple groups headed to Eagle and Gypsum to help Habitat for Humanity ” some students painting the Habitat Home Outlet, and others working on a habitat home in the Bluffs.

Some elementary students spent their day baking cookies for the Vail police and fire departments.

Five students made the cold trek to Shrine Mountain and spent the morning clearing snow from the huts, Blakslee said.

Middle-school students wrote letters and sent care packages to troops in Iraq, created auction paddles for Habitat for Humanity’s Carpenter’s Ball, shoveled snow in East Vail neighborhoods and drew posters for the Literacy Project.

Students did filing for Eagle Care Clinic and helped clean and organize places like the Thrifty Store in Edwards and Meet the Wilderness in Minturn.

Another group of students prepared lunch and spent time with seniors at the McCoy senior center.

Two classes put together “craft kits” so students sick in a hospital could do art projects in their bed.

Every student was involved, and all the projects were done with Martin Luther King in mind, Blakslee said.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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