Features http://www.canyoncourier.com/features/todaysfeatures en Evergreen welcomes a soldier home http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/evergreen-welcomes-gi-home-0 <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-bernahomecoming01-gc-121014.jpg" alt="Oliver Harmon, 7, talks with Michael Berna, who just returned from a nine-month tour of Afghanistan." title="Oliver Harmon, 7, talks with Michael Berna, who just returned from a nine-month tour of Afghanistan." align="left" hspace="6" width="124" height="85" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">Getting a big welcome home to Evergreen after serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan can be a little overwhelming &mdash; but in a good way.</span></p> <p> At least that&rsquo;s what U.S. Army Specialist Michael Berna felt after being greeted by a crowd of well-wishers at Buchanan Recreation Center on Saturday to thank him for his service. He spent nine months at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, returning home to Evergreen late last week for a holiday break after a couple of weeks at a military base in Kentucky.</p> EHS theater class takes on challenging production http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/ehs-theater-class-takes-challenging-production <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-emotionalcreature03-gc-120314.jpg" alt="Carly Rinehardt, Angela Heston, Simone Christians, Kaelyn Evans and McKenna Meara rehearse the production of Emotional Creature at Evergreen High School. " title="Carly Rinehardt, Angela Heston, Simone Christians, Kaelyn Evans and McKenna Meara rehearse the production of Emotional Creature at Evergreen High School. " align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Evergreen High School&rsquo;s theater production of &ldquo;Emotional Creature&rdquo; can be described as empowering, disturbing, powerful and contemporary.</p> <p> It certainly isn&#39;t the typical show that Evergreen High&rsquo;s advanced theater students perform.</p> A jolly good time with Santa http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/jolly-good-time-santa <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-breakfastsanta04-gc-120314.jpg" alt="Katie and Carter Lundquist, both 3, sit on Santa&#039;s lap on Saturday at the Lake House." title="Katie and Carter Lundquist, both 3, sit on Santa&#039;s lap on Saturday at the Lake House." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">Children and their families eager to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus filled the Evergreen Lake House on Saturday morning.</span></p> <p> &ldquo;We served 325 breakfasts,&rdquo; said Joyce Masyga of the Evergreen Downtown Business Association, which sponsors the annual event.</p> <p> Because so many people wanted to attend this year&rsquo;s breakfast, an extra seating was added to accommodate them. The timing of the event on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend adds to its popularity, Masyga said.</p> Coming home to mountain area hearts http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/coming-home-mountain-area-hearts <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-vet01-111214.jpg" alt="Army Specialist Michael Berna" title="Army Specialist Michael Berna" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> <strong><em>By Gabrielle Porter, f<span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">or the Courier</span></em></strong></p> <p> Judy Berna&rsquo;s original idea for welcoming her son home from Afghanistan was not elaborate.</p> <p> The Evergreen resident drove past the &ldquo;Welcome to Evergreen&rdquo; sign near Walmart about six months ago, and noticed it had been decorated with flags. Her son, 21-year-old Army Specialist Michael Berna, deployed Feb. 1 to Afghanistan with Apache Troop 1-75 Cavalry of the 101st Airborne Division.</p> Tinseled tannenbaums tout a yummy yule tradition http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/tinseled-tannenbaums-tout-yummy-yule-tradition <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-festivaltrees02-gc-112614.jpg" alt="Yvonne Lipson with Yvonne Marie&#039;s Patisserie cuts into a dog cake during the Wine Tasting and Festival of Trees on Saturday at the Lake House." title="Yvonne Lipson with Yvonne Marie&#039;s Patisserie cuts into a dog cake during the Wine Tasting and Festival of Trees on Saturday at the Lake House." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">Father Christmas would have been pleased when more than 200 guests gathered at the Evergreen Lake House on Saturday evening for the 14th annual Wine Tasting and Festival of Trees.&nbsp;</span></p> <p> Presented by the Conifer Area Chamber of Commerce, the event brought together local businesses, Colorado wineries and chamber supporters for a night of mostly giving and, for some lucky silent-auction bidders, a night of receiving.&nbsp;</p> Full hearts at Empty Bowls - VIDEO http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/full-hearts-empty-bowls-video <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-emptybowls03-gc-111214.jpg" alt="Jayne Norton, the MRC’s food pantry manager, hands Sarah Ocasek a sample of soup during the Empty Bowls lunch last Thurday at the Evergreen Lake House." title="Jayne Norton, the MRC’s food pantry manager, hands Sarah Ocasek a sample of soup during the Empty Bowls lunch last Thurday at the Evergreen Lake House." align="left" hspace="6" width="122" height="85" /><p> Empty Bowls is truly an event for the community, by the community.</p> <p> &ldquo;Everything you&rsquo;re enjoying today has been donated by someone in this community. That&rsquo;s what makes this such a great event,&rdquo; Holly Simon, board member for the Mountain Resource Center, told the folks assembled to enjoy soup and raise funds for those in need.</p> <p> The annual Empty Bowls event raises money for the MRC and its efforts to help feed hungry families. The MRC hosted the first day of the two-day event last Wednesday at the organization&rsquo;s main office in Conifer.</p> Railroad Museum featuring Polar Express ride for kids http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/railroad-museum-featuring-polar-express-ride-kids <p> <span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">You can wear your pajamas to the special Polar Express-theme train ride, as well as visit with Santa.</span></p> <p> Evergreen resident Rick Bernstein has put together a 75-minute production and train ride to the &ldquo;North Pole.&rdquo; It includes flying reindeer and dancing waiters at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden.&nbsp;</p> <p> &ldquo;We have reindeer that look like elk, and (Evergreen) has elk that look like reindeer,&rdquo; Bernstein joked when asked about the production.</p> A pet project comes to fruition http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/pet-project-comes-fruition <img src="http://www.canyoncourier.com/sites/www.canyoncourier.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/news-petinsurance-110514.jpg" alt="Patty Potter" title="Patty Potter" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> <span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">Evergreen resident Patty Potter once was rescued from an attacking bear by her dog Bella. Now she&rsquo;s honoring Bella&rsquo;s memory by helping other people rescue dogs.</span></p> <p> Potter started the Bella Pet Insurance Fund three years ago as a national nonprofit that provides health insurance grants to young people who want to rescue dogs. After three years of raising money and slowly gaining public recognition, the organization is ready to start helping more dog rescuers.</p>