Olaf spotted in Eagle: Local woman spreading joy with ‘Frozen’ character | VailDaily.com
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Olaf spotted in Eagle: Local woman spreading joy with ‘Frozen’ character

Longtime Mountain Recreation employee Sheryl Staten has been going around the community in an Olaf costume, helping spread joy — a safe distance away.
Special to the Daily

Sheryl Staten has been with Mountain Recreation for 20 years. When her bosses issued the work-from-home order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Eagle resident took one last look at her office at the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink.

“I looked back in my office and saw Olaf sitting there,” she said. “I thought he could be inspiring and keep working even if I couldn’t.”

Staten has started putting her Olaf costume to work, a popular “Frozen” character beloved by people of all ages. She has been brightening people’s days by going out in the costume — safely and with her health as well the community’s at the front of her mind.

“I feel like even though we can’t physically be together we can still lift each other up and have that sense of togetherness,” she said. “What really matters in life is how we make people feel.”

In “Frozen,” Olaf is a lovable spirit.

“Olaf is a symbol of love and warm hugs,” Staten said. “We are all craving warm hugs right now. And if he can pretend to blow a kiss through a window and people feel that, that will replace his warm hugs for now.”

She’s also added a scarf to the Olaf costume to promote cleanliness and social distancing.

“Really this community is our home, and the people are our extended family,” she said.

“Some people are worth melting for.”
Special to the Daily

On one of her first trips out as Olaf, Staten strolled outside her neighbor’s windows, waving to get their attention.

“Instantly you could see the joy in the parents’ and kids’ faces,” she said.

On her walk back to her house, other neighbors crowded around windows and a few opened the door to say hello.

“I was in tears under that head because I could really feel people needing it,” she said. “You just feel it when you’re in that thing.”

Mountain Recreation posted on Facebook recently asking the community which neighborhoods might want a visit from Olaf. On Wednesday, Staten will bust out Olaf for more appearances.

The local youth program purchased the Olaf costume in the fall to be featured on its award-winning Christmas float. Mountain Rec has since continued to use Olaf on ice with kids.

“I’m so proud of Mountain Recreation,” she said. “We have that tagline of active, healthy and together, and one of our values is joy. So I really take that tagline and values to heart and will do anything to bring happiness and joy and really lift spirits during this time.”

To inquire about a visit from Olaf to your neighborhood, email Staten at sstaten@mountainrec.org or contact the Mountain Recreation Facebook page.

“I’m a mom of 3. Blended family with kids from 6-16 years old. We underestimate the emotional toll this would take on the kids. You are a bright light for knowing they need a boost!” one person commented about Olaf.

“I just saw Olaf in Eagle Ranch! Thanks for making me smile!” another wrote.

“When Olaf shows up to send you love, you know you are in the best community,” one person commented.

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.


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