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Features

  • Getting a big welcome home to Evergreen after serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan can be a little overwhelming — but in a good way.

    At least that’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.

  • Evergreen High School’s theater production of “Emotional Creature” can be described as empowering, disturbing, powerful and contemporary.

    It certainly isn't the typical show that Evergreen High’s advanced theater students perform.

  • Children and their families eager to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus filled the Evergreen Lake House on Saturday morning.

    “We served 325 breakfasts,” said Joyce Masyga of the Evergreen Downtown Business Association, which sponsors the annual event.

    Because so many people wanted to attend this year’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.

  • By Gabrielle Porter, for the Courier

    Judy Berna’s original idea for welcoming her son home from Afghanistan was not elaborate.

    The Evergreen resident drove past the “Welcome to Evergreen” 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.

  • 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. 

    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. 

  • You can wear your pajamas to the special Polar Express-theme train ride, as well as visit with Santa.

    Evergreen resident Rick Bernstein has put together a 75-minute production and train ride to the “North Pole.” It includes flying reindeer and dancing waiters at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. 

    “We have reindeer that look like elk, and (Evergreen) has elk that look like reindeer,” Bernstein joked when asked about the production.

  • Empty Bowls is truly an event for the community, by the community.

    “Everything you’re enjoying today has been donated by someone in this community. That’s what makes this such a great event,” Holly Simon, board member for the Mountain Resource Center, told the folks assembled to enjoy soup and raise funds for those in need.

    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’s main office in Conifer.

  • Evergreen resident Patty Potter once was rescued from an attacking bear by her dog Bella. Now she’s honoring Bella’s memory by helping other people rescue dogs.

    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.

  • By foothills standards, the holiday spirit is in full swing, with seven holiday boutiques over the next few weeks.

  • About 50 young girls were excited and speechless when the snow queen and the ice princess arrived for a special party on Sunday.

    The girls, dressed in their royalty finest, were prepared when the queen asked them to join in singing “Let It Go.” It was all part of a party for young aficionados of the Disney movie “Frozen,” hosted by Wilmot Elementary parent Jennifer Trinco at the Evergreen Elks Lodge.

  • A historic volunteer fire department siren now has a prominent spot at Evergreen Fire/Rescue thanks to a high school student’s Eagle Scout project.

    The siren was once used by fire department volunteers in the region for years. Volunteer “kitchen dispatchers” with red telephones from the fire department could activate the siren by pushing a button on their phones. When volunteer firefighters called in, the “kitchen dispatchers” would give them the address of the fire.

  • For the past 16 years, Maren Schreiber has coordinated the Special Needs Program of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District. Beginning with five youngsters when she first assumed the position, Schreiber now plans and leads activities for more than 90 people.

    Participants in her program go swimming, rafting, fishing, horseback riding, bowling — and glide across Evergreen Lake on boats. They scale the climbing wall at Buchanan Rec Center, tend a garden and take trips to places of interest.

    “We do just about everything,” says Schreiber.

  • Evergreen’s historic bell tower is getting a much-needed makeover, and it should be standing sentry over the east end of downtown by the end of the week.

    The nonprofit HistoriCorps brought staff and volunteers to work on the tower, which is part of the historic buildings on the Church of the Transfiguration property. The tower is 115 years old, and it was restored in 1979 by the U.S. Army Reserves, but weather exposure slowly rots the wood, and church officials were afraid the tower might fall.

  • Bogart the mammoth donkey has a new lease on life thanks to the efforts of a West Jefferson Middle School seventh-grader and the kind-hearted staff at Colorado Horse Rescue.

    Bogart was at a feedlot waiting to be sent to a slaughterhouse when 12-year-old Klaire Funderburgh fell in love with the gentle giant.

    “She kept saying, ‘Mom, I can’t let him be killed. I have to save him,’ ” said Klaire’s mother, Kristin Manley.

  • You never know what message the sign at the Indian Hills Community Center might offer. But one thing is certain: It draws the attention of motorists on Parmalee Gulch Road.

    Some of the weekly slogans are funny; others are thought-provoking riddles. And a few have created quite a stir.

    “I try to keep something up there that will make people smile,” says Indian Hills resident Vince Rozmiarek, who places the weekly messages on the sign. “I’ve adopted it. It’s really fun.”

  • “This is full of spectacular-ness!” exclaimed Sue Comer as she walked through stands of aspen glowing with fall color last Thursday afternoon.

    Comer had traveled from Loveland to a scenic overlook on Highway 103 where many people were gazing in awe at golden-leaved trees in the bright sunshine. The changing aspen also created bright patterns of color in the distant hills, which leaf-gazers were enjoying along with mature aspen they could walk up to and photograph.

  • Don’t let the title fool you. “Strangers, Lovers and the Winds of Time” by Evergreen author Dale Lovin is far from a romance novel.

    Lovin’s second published work is a gritty, compelling portrait of white supremacists and their devastated victims. Written as a suspense novel interwoven with factual accounts of high-profile incidents, the book contains tales of past and present evil in American society.

  • The annual Hay Days at the Humphrey History Park and Museum offered a little something for everyone on Saturday.

    “The music has been the best part so far,” Evergreen resident Leslie Scully said after sharing a dance with her husband, Steve.

    The event, celebrating its third year, took attendees back to the early 1900s and showed what life in Evergreen was like then. 

  • Buchanan Rec Center on Sunday morning was inundated with kids swimming, running and biking in a triathlon that was meant to simply be fun.

    Nearly 130 children ages 5 to 13 swam laps in the pool, ran around one of the Bergen ponds, and biked through Bergen Park. No one timed the event, though lots of parents cheered, waved flags, rang cowbells and took pictures.

  • The workforce in Evergreen is made up of people who prepare food, repair worn shoes, develop social media skills for businesses and individuals, and manage nonprofit organizations that benefit the local and global community. They are among many people who help make Evergreen a thriving, viable place to live.

    A restaurant family

    Hla Win is a sushi chef with a fairly new restaurant in Bergen Park where he, his wife and son spend many hours preparing food and serving customers.