Vail Daily letters to the editor |

Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily Staff
Vail, CO, Colorado

Great job, BecTri volunteers

Wow, what a day! I was truly amazed by each member of our incredible volunteer team for the BecTri 2012.

We had an impressive volunteer turnout, with 104 volunteers from Friday night to Saturday cleanup.

It was a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to communicate with such a special group of people throughout the past few months and during the BecTri weekend.

They are a strong, warm and friendly group of people who made the BecTri 2012 a huge success. Throughout the event, I saw our volunteer team repeatedly go above and beyond to help each other, the participants and families attending the event.

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A few special thanks:

Mark Fitzwater and Pete Kuk, our bike course coordinators, thanks for keeping our bike course safe.

Greg and Allison Decent, run coordinator couple extraordinaire, thanks for your efforts on marking the course and your enthusiasm for the participants during the event.

Larry Wolfe and family, swim coordinators, thanks for keeping the swimmers safe and your impressive counting skills.

Pam Kennedy, Ken Harper, Pegasus Rumaine and Mark Luzar, transition area team, thanks for keeping the area organized and creating your own spreadsheets to track all of the racers as they exited the transition area.

Rich and Laura Copeland, thanks for going above and beyond helping with set up and registration. We could not have done this without you.

Audrey Slevin, Sharon Paul and Kim West, our early crew on Saturday morning, thanks for arriving at 5:45 a.m. to make sure we were up and running when everyone arrived.

Vickerman family, thank you for your outstanding sign making and package pick-up efforts on Friday night. Great family teamwork.

Course marshals, I know I did not get to see all of you. Thanks for doing a great job directing our participants safely through the course, cheering them on and keeping everyone safe. Many of the participants told me how much they appreciated the encouragement during the race. Great job!

Refreshment aid station – Bill Watt and Sharron Gleason, Val Wolfe and Mary Jane McEachron – special thanks for providing refreshments and directions to the bikers and runners.

Medical aid station, Dr. Mark Stephens and family, thanks for being there to help out with medical assistance, set up, cleanup and all of the extra jobs you did.

And one more special thank you to my team: Valinda Yarberry, Claire Christensen and Karen Simon. I could not have done this without your encouragement and support and humor. Thank you!

Thank you so much for bringing your smiles, helping hands and warm hearts.

Valinda Yarberry

Even more time?

Recently on “Fox News,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told guest host John Roberts: “You have to give his (Obama’s) plan more time to work.”

That sounds like an excuse for a defective prescription laxative to me. No wonder Obama’s budget is so bloated.

Aggie Chastain


Red Cross is there

In response to the letter from “Red Cross critic,” please allow me to correct some misinformation.

The American Red Cross mission is to “prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.”

We do, in fact, respond to an emergency in the state of Colorado on average of once every 21 hours and are usually on the scene within two hours anywhere in the state. These emergencies range from single-family fires and apartment fires to larger disasters, such as the many wildfires that affected Colorado this summer.

In response to those wildfires, the Red Cross deployed more than 600 workers who:

• Operated 19 shelters and evacuation centers.

• Distributed more than 22,000 cleanup and recovery items such as rakes, gloves, dust masks, sifters and brooms.

• Opened more than 500 cases to help affected residents with their recovery.

• Logged more than 9,000 health and mental health contacts.

• Worked with partners, including the Salvation Army, to distribute more than 67,000 meals and snacks.

Although our primary focus is helping people affected by disasters, Red Cross responders do often provide support for firefighters and first responders if the local community doesn’t have any other resources.

Eagle County is very fortunate to have a Salvation Army Canteen, which does an excellent job in meeting that need.

The Red Cross deploys based on the request of emergency responders or a direct request from clients, rather than “self-deploying.”

Sometimes, this means our Red Cross volunteers arrive after initial emergency responders have left the scene, such as during the recent fire in Avon. This does not diminish the services we provide to those affected. In Avon, we provided residents with lodging, money for clothes and groceries, replaced medications and provided mental health support. We worked in partnership with the Salvation Army to ensure our clients’ needs were met and to plan for distributing the generous donations raised by a local restaurant.

When a disaster strikes, the needs are many and varied, and working together with our partners is the best way to meet those needs. The Red Cross is not in competition with any other organization but instead strives to work in partnership with fellow nonprofits to complement each other’s capabilities.

We all simply desire to help people in need.

I can assure that whenever the call for help comes in Eagle County, the Red Cross will be there, working side by side with partners like the Salvation Army to help those in need.

Jody Acres

Area Manager,

American Red Cross

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