Salvation Army finds new home in Avon | VailDaily.com

Salvation Army finds new home in Avon

Scott N. Miller/smiller@vaildaily.com

AVON, Colorado – Ethan Moore had some tough duty a few weeks ago – he had to evict the Vail Valley Salvation Army. But the local charity ended up doing just fine.

Moore, the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Edwards, said asking the local charity to leave was one of the hardest things he’s done. The Salvation Army had been in the auxiliary building at Trinity for 15 years or more. But the Salvation Army had long outgrown the roughly 800 square feet of space, and Moore was concerned about the safety of the space.

When Dan Smith, president of the charity’s local board of directors, heard the news, he only had to make one phone call to find a new home. He called Magnus Lindholm, who owns the Traer Creek property that includes the land between Home Depot and Chapel Square. Lindholm immediately offered the company’s old office space, the former terminal building at Avon’s old airport. Lindholm told Smith the Salvation Army could use the building until Traer Creek was ready to build on the site.

Besides the phone call and a handshake, there isn’t any paperwork on the deal.

“We’ll have to do something formal at some point, but we’re fine for now,” Smith said.

So volunteers spent much of the week moving files, food and other items from Edwards to Avon. Friday, there was a small, joyous celebration to mark the opening of the new office.

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Lindholm and Smith repeated their lease agreement for those who attended, and each spoke a bit before the traditional ribbon-cutting.

“We’re proud and honored to have the Salvation Army here,” Lindholm said.

Smith added that the new space has roughly quintupled the charity’s food pantry space, adding later that the Salvation Army can now take pallet-sized donations of food.

There’s enough space in the pantry at the moment that Moore urged those who came to the opening ceremony to pick up a few extra items next time they’re at the grocery store and donate those (non-perishable) items to the Salvation Army.

For those who shop at the Avon City Market store, those donations got a lot easier, since the new office is just a few hundred yards from the store. It’s also much easier to get to the food pantry, so people at the Salvation Army expect to serve more people now.

Pastor Brooks Keith of the local Episcopal church was at the celebration, too, and, like everyone else, was thrilled.

“What a great group of people this is,” Keith said. “This is really great.”

Tsu Wolin-Brown, who runs the Salvation Army’s day-to-day operations, has a new office, with great views of the Beaver Creek rodeo grounds. But this day, she was wandering in the spacious new headquarters, thrilled at the prospects of what can happen.

“Look at this pantry!” she said. “Isn’t it amazing?”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.