Vail Valley shatters giving goal for Thanksgiving |

Vail Valley shatters giving goal for Thanksgiving

Hundreds of locals gathered in Avon and Eagle to pack boxes and bags with food collected during this year's holiday food drive.
Todd Harper|Special to the Daily |

By the numbers

Upvalley Schools 2015 2014

Red Sandstone School (Vail) 4,376 4,031

Avon Elementary School 201 156

Berry Creek Middle School (Edwards) 459 542

June Creek Elementary (Edwards) 396 89

Eagle County Charter Academy (Edwards) 2,648 1,291

Edwards Elementary 689 544

Stone Creek Charter Academy (Gypsum) 998 422

St Clare of Assisi 0 561

Vail Mountain School 539

Downvalley Schools 2015 2014


Gypsum Creek Middle 1,094 1,008

Red Hill Elementary 1,609 1,076

Gypsum Elementary School 859 840

Stone Creek Charter 916 233


Brush Creek Elementary 2,659 541

Eagle Elementary School 1,158 851.5

Eagle Valley Middle School 250 621

Total 18,672 12,806.5

Store Donation Breakdown

Cash Checks Pounds

City Markets

Avon $627 2,539

Eagle $328 $100 2,334

Vail $345 $500 958


East $234 $100 676

West $125 688

Edwards Village Market $148 447

Gypsum Ridley’s Market: $95 379

Store totals $1,947.92 $700 8,271

School cash/checks: $330 $1,056

Drive Total cash/checks: $2,277 $1,756

Grand Total: $4,299.22 = 21,495 pounds

Total Pounds (Stores/Schools) 48,438 pounds

EAGLE COUNTY — Valley locals gave until it felt good, collecting more than 24 tons of food and almost $4,300 to buy more.

When it was all packed and loaded, the total collected from local stores and schools weighed 48,438 pounds. People sometimes forgot to bring food to donate, but they could almost always reach into their pockets for a couple bucks, $4,299.22 total, in fact.

“Awesome job team! This is about an 8,000 pound increase from last year,” said Officer Craig Westering, the Vail Police Department food drive coordinator.

That includes a jump in cash donations as well, Westering said.

Those totals do not include donations from Vail Resorts and a few other businesses from which food and cash were still rolling in, Westering said.

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Law enforcement lead it

This year’s food drive was sponsored by Eagle County law enforcement, with all county schools participating and competing as well.

Red Sandstone Elementary School in Vail collected almost twice as much food as the second place school. Eagle County Charter Academy collected 2,648 pounds, more than twice as much as last year, and twice as much as the next highest school.

“We have been participating in this food drive for over 10 years,” said Marcie Laidman, Red Sandstone principal. “We are very fortunate to have several generous school families who have provided financial support every year. And we have amazing students who bring in canned and non-perishable food to donate. This project brings the whole community together for one important and life-saving cause.”

Catherine Jarnot is the Eagle Valley Middle School principal. Apparently McGruff the Crime Dog managed to land in the principal’s office.

“We apologize that we could not keep McGruff out of your office … again,” joked Terry Simpkins, of the Eagle Police Department.

It’s OK, because when it comes to principles and principals, your school’s principal is your “pal.”

Packing parties

Saturday’s packing parties saw hundreds of locals gather in Avon and Eagle to pack boxes and bags to be distributed to local families by the Salvation Army.

Among them were David Cope’s Battle Mountain High School soccer team.

“Kids are supported so much by this community, financially and with moral support,” Cope said. “To be able to give back to the community is important. Our players are aware of that and have a good track record of doing that.

“The most important thing we can help them learn is to be good citizens and good people,” Cope said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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