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Features

  • For firefighter Craig O’Connell, working as a volunteer for the Evergreen Fire Department was all about the camaraderie.

    While it might sound like a cliché, the friendship and loyalty kindled among volunteer firefighters can’t be beat, said O’Connell, who was honored April 28 for serving for 26 years as a volunteer firefighter, including three as volunteer chief of the department. He currently works as a paid staffer and paramedic at South Metro Fire Rescue in Littleton.

  • Chow Down was the perfect place to get a puppy fix on Saturday afternoon.

    Dozens of people gathered behind the pet store in Bergen Village, awaiting a minivan loaded with 37 pups and 13 kittens that arrived from the Pryor Animal League in Pryor, Okla.

    Linda Biscorner, president of Oklahoma organization, drove more than 10 hours with the animals, hoping that the Evergreen Animal Protective League could help find them forever homes.

  • Matilda, a hearing assistance dog, knows what to do when people call Evergreen resident Kyle Walpole’s name or knock on his door at home or at work.

    Matilda “alerts” to the sound, then nudges Walpole in the leg and leads him to the source, he said. Walpole was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease in the 1990s and is hearing impaired. If someone is at the door, the black Labrador retriever leads Walpole there. If Walpole drops his keys, Matilda can lead him to them as well.

  • Heidi — a giant schnauzer who lives in Evergreen — takes her job as a pet therapy dog at Exempla Lutheran Hospital so seriously that she even has her own business card.

    Heidi’s card lists her favorite hobbies: riding in the car, meeting new people, going on long walks and eating snow. Typical dog fun, you might say.

  • “For a community to survive, it needs a gathering place,” said Bob Cardwell, recipient of the Leader of the Year award from Leadership Evergreen.

    During his years in the mountain community, Cardwell has been directly involved in creating recreational opportunities and facilities for residents.

    Working with the Evergreen Park and Recreation District, Cardwell helped acquire property to create Buchanan Park and Rec Center. 

  • Chilly but enthralled youngsters in the play-school group at Buchanan Rec Center watched 300 pounds of rainbow trout make their way into Buchanan Ponds on Monday morning.

    "It was fun and wild," said John Ellis, who helped coordinate the fish launch with Evergreen Trout Unlimited.

    As a frigid wind whipped across the larger pond, T.J. Heyne of Liley Fisheries carried the wriggling fish in nets and released them.

    Youngsters Noah and Dawson Parker knelt by the edge of the water to help some of the trout make their way into the pond. 

  • A small sea of homemade pinwheels adorned the lawn outside Wilmot Elementary School on Friday, a silent tribute to peace and kindness.

    The pinwheels, created by students, teachers and parents, were part of the school’s celebration of the annual Day Without Hate. The day is set aside to promote nonviolence, unity and respect in schools.

  • Evergreen friends David Cuin and Ann Hopper Vickstrom have collaborated to create “Seasons of Evergreen,” a book that offers a present-day glimpse of their community.

    “We deliberately placed this as Evergreen now,” Vickstrom said.

    In writing the book with Cuin, Vickstrom said they focused on making it a personal reflection. Newcomers, longtime residents and visitors can use “Seasons of Evergreen” as a reference, she said.

  • Reaching the summit of a high mountain peak is secondary to maintaining good relationships with fellow climbers, said George Lowe, a mountaineer with more than 50 years experience.

    “The brotherhood of the rope is incredibly important to me,” Lowe said during his presentation at Mount Vernon Country Club on April 16. “The most critical message I want to leave is the companionship.”

  • Whipped cream and a red cherry made of artist's clay top the brightly colored “Court Jester Delight” ceramic egg on display at Evergreen National Bank.

    A dark yellow egg yolk is a stand-out feature of the “Half-Baked” ceramic egg. The “Snowflake” egg features intricate hand-painted snowflakes on a deep blue background.

    The three duck-egg-size eggs, along with about 150 more, are part of Evergreen’s seventh annual egg-decorating contest, a fund-raiser for the Evergreen Downtown Business Association.

  • Shelby Foley and Brandon Bianco have learned many life lessons in the five weeks since their 10-month-old son, Kai, was bitten by the family dog.

    They learned firsthand that life can change in an instant.

    They witnessed the kindness of paramedics, sheriff’s deputies and medical professionals, plus the outpouring of support that is typical for Evergreen.

    And, above all, they learned to trust that their son will recover, and they will weather the medical bills and the uncertainty of Kai’s future.

  • Blitz is back home.

    Denverite Kate Townsend was reunited with her small black Lab on April 1 after a family in the neighborhood south of Mount Falcon took Blitz in. The dog had been lost lost for 44 days, since she chased a deer Feb. 16 while Townsend was hiking with friends at Mount Falcon Open Space.

  • The sounds of groans and bodies hitting the floor emanated from Colorado Children’s Theatre on Sunday — along with a lot of laughter — as 20 young actors learned the art of stage combat.

    They learned how to fall – theatrically, of course – and how to throw a punch that looks realistic but doesn’t hurt the recipient. They also used swimming “noodles” as mock swords to learn how to perform a choreographed sword fight.

  • Saturday was all about the rites of spring at the Humphrey History Park and Museum.

    Visitors learned the basics of raising goats and composting, participated in a seed and chicken swap, and learned about raising herbs, making cheese and spinning thread during the Great Humphrey Animal and Seed Swap.

  • Bill Yearsley talks about his house with a sense of pride.

    It’s more than simple ownership. He designed his home off Kerr Gulch Road, and it's about as green as a home can get.

    “This house came out of my passion for sustainable design,” said Yearsley, who was in the engineering and construction industry for 30 years. “It’s built using materials that will last. I’d like to think there’s nothing else like it in the Jeffco community.”

  • After learning of mountain area residents  who couldn't fill out job applications because they lacked English language skills, a group of volunteers formed the Mountain Reads program.

    Since the program started last year, the tutors have worked with several individuals, helping them improve their ability to speak, read and write. Now the group is seeking more participants for Mountain Reads, which area Rotary clubs sponsor.

  • Highway 73 just north of Marshdale has its gnome back, though this time it’s a ladies-only situation.

    Maminka the female gnome now sits proudly outside the house that has been famous over the years for its iconic gnomes. The male gnome, Gnomie, was stolen more than a year ago, much to the dismay of owner Andre Yerkes, neighbors and motorists who drive up and down the highway.

  • Marshdale Elementary fourth-graders were rocket scientists for a day on Monday when they used their scientific-inquiry skills to make and launch rockets from soda bottles.

    They had help from real rocket scientists from Centennial-based United Launch Alliance, who told them about rockets and satellites, then helped them with their rockets.

    ULA, a joint subsidiary of Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co., launches a variety of government and commercial payloads using Atlas and Delta rockets.

  • The authors who attended the inaugural Authors Fair at Bergen Valley Elementary School on Friday didn’t simply read their books to the students; they inspired the children to write about their passions and to dream.

    “It was 10 years before I showed (my book) to anyone,” children’s author Suzanne Brown, a Bergens parent, told a class of third-graders, “and they asked when was I going to get it published. And if you don’t try, you don’t succeed, right?” she asked the students.

  • This year’s musical at Evergreen Middle School combines the new with the familiar.

    New this year for the production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is Tom Biaso, an eighth-grader who accompanies the singers on piano. In past years, the music has been provided via recordings or a professional accompanist.