Letter: Gratitude for the community | VailDaily.com

Letter: Gratitude for the community

This January marked my eight-year anniversary of moving to the Vail Valley after spending a lifetime in Chicago.

It has prompted even deeper reflection on how special this place truly is.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “I moved here for the winter but stayed for the summer.” I’ve always said, “I knew how much I’d love the mountains, but I had no idea how much I would adore the people.”  

Sure, it didn’t happen instantly and the first 6-8 months were challenging as I didn’t know anyone, and everyone who knows me knows how social I am.

But then things started to kick in, and I felt I was becoming part of this wonderful community.  

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I was fortunate to move here with a great job — to serve as VP of development for Walking Mountains Science Center. Mind you, starting a position in fundraising without knowing anyone was not easy, but I knew from the minute I met the staff, leadership, founder and board members that I was in the right place. Walking Mountains has proven to be an amazing place to work, and my first impressions of the staff, board and donors have been confirmed repeatedly as they inspire me in my role.

I’ve developed friendships and connected to countless people in the community who are interesting, dynamic and who are doing incredible work to improve open space, access to healthful food, resources for mental health issues, education for children of all backgrounds, intellectual stimulation through lectures, world-class cultural performances and more.

I am continually struck by the endless generosity of our community in myriad ways.

Most recently, I had a ski accident and injured my shoulder. From the staff at Vail Health in the ER, to the countless friends, colleagues, donors, ski buddies, neighbors and acquaintances, I have been overwhelmed with the offers of support to drive me places, cook meals, visit me, grocery shop, etc.

This latest incident/accident brings full circle my sense of gratitude for this place we call home. 

It confirms what I already knew — I made the right move.

Patty White

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