A special thank you to everyone who contributed to this amazing event and here is a video created by Matt Velasquez.
On Saturday, August 6, 2011, Sun Valley residents and their families attended their first Sun Valley celebration! Sun Valley families enjoyed the opportunity to come together as a community for the end of the summer BBQ and T-Ball Tournament event. The Sun Valley T-Ball teams did more than just score a homerun; they captured the hearts of the entire community. Among those attending the event were representatives from Fresh Start (board members, staff and volunteers) and various organizations. A special thanks goes out to our dedicated sponsors, community partners, donors, vendors and volunteers which include: (sponsors) The Riverfront Community Foundation and Mark Smith, President of the Riverfront Community Foundation; (community partners) Rude Recreation Center, Sun Valley Residents Council, Sisters of Color United for Education, Denver Police Department, Denver Fire Department, and City of Denver Facilities Department; (donors) The Colorado Rockies, The Denver Broncos, We Don’t Waste, Yoli Granoli, Denver Urban Gardens, and Little Caesars Pizza; (vendors) Fiesta Party Rentals, Polar Ice, Sisters of Color United for Education, Jose Hernandez and Xcel Energy; and numerous volunteers for helping us make this event a success!
The Riverfront Community Foundation donated $2,000 for the Sun Valley Summer Experience. The Sun Valley Summer Experience will be used as a model for future funding and year round sports activities and well-being classes and physical fitness for families, children, and youth. Mark Smith, President of the Riverfront Community Foundation also donated $1,000 (of his personal funds) to the program. Mark is challenging donors to match his donation and/or contribute to help the Sun Valley Summer Experience continue year round and well into the future!
Fresh Start Team - Kristina Richens, Board President of Fresh Start welcomed Sun Valley residents to the BBQ and T-Ball Tournament celebration! Kristina shared the important work that all the community partners were providing to the residents of Sun Valley. Throughout the celebration, Kristina introduced guests, spoke with community partners, interacted with families and children while distributing raffle prizes. Among those representing Fresh Start who served food, grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, took pictures, distributed food bags, Tweeted event photos and filmed the celebration were: Michelle Trujillo and her children, Tayler & Blaise, Treasurer; Mike Miller, Secretary; Jeanne Granville, Executive Director; Rosa Vergil-Garcia, Family Advocate; Anntella Wells, Community Outreach Worker; Carmen Messina Velasquez; Matt Velasquez; Rocío Pérez; Cristina and Gabino Hernandez, Jasti Salem and Fuji Burns, Bonnie Spitze and volunteers.
Rude Recreation Center and Denver Parks and Recreation – The Rude Recreation Center Supervisor, James Salinas, and Head Coach, Ramon Rodriguez, welcomed families and children to the celebration, thanked them for participating in the Sun Valley Summer Experience, spoke about the importance of sports in their children’s lives, handed out Rockies tickets and invited parents to sign their children up for fall sports. As an added bonus, families had an opportunity to pick-up their children(s) T-Ball pictures at the event.
Sun Valley Residents Council – The Residents Council: Asnake, Darrell and Keisha assisted in the event planning process and joined in the celebration.
Councilwoman Judy H. Montero – Councilwoman Judy H. Montero and District 9 Constituent Services Manager, Stephanie Syner, addressed the Sun Valley residents and shared the importance of sports and education. Among other things, she discussed the background of ongoing reconstruction efforts in the Sun Valley neighborhood. Councilwoman Montero invited Sun Valley residents to participate in community programs and to contact the District 9 Office to discuss any problems that needed to be addressed. The families were thrilled with the Rockies vs Dodgers tickets. Children and their families listened and were encouraged to know they have support at the Councilwoman’s Office.
Southwest Community Collaborative Partnership (CCP) Center (a partnership of agencies serving Southwest Denver lead by Fresh Start and Sisters of Color United for Education) – The services offered by Southwest CCP Center to Southwest Denver residents range from income maintenance benefits enrollment, training, intervention programs, advocacy, resources and referrals and community collaboration. At the event, Fresh Start’s Family Advocate, Rosa Vergil-Garcia assisted families with the enrollment process for affordable health insurance and other services.
Sisters of Color United for Education (SOCUE) Belinda Garcia, Executive Director, provided information regarding upcoming classes and events at Plaza Aztlan, home of SOCUE and Southwest CCP Center, and assisted Rude Recreation Center in signing up families for fall sports.
Denver Police Department District 1 – Lt. Paul Pazen and representatives from the Denver Police Department District 1 attended the celebration and spoke with families and children and offered their services to the community.
Denver Fire Department – Denver Fire Department representatives joined in the celebration.
City of Denver Facilities Department – Staff from the Facilities Department set up tables and chairs, tents, speakers, a generator and the podium for the event. Staff joined in the celebration.
- Colorado Rockies – The Colorado Rockies donated 500 tickets to Sun Valley residents to attend the Colorado Rockies vs. the LA Dodgers game. For the first time, each family received tickets for the entire family to attend a baseball game. The Colorado Rockies also donated prizes for the raffle such as bobble heads, T-shirts, hats, and stickers.
- The Denver Broncos – The Denver Broncos donated Broncos gear for the children’s raffle.
- Little Caesars Pizza – Little Caesar made a special appearance and greeted event participants. Children had an opportunity to take pictures and spend time with the Little Caesar mascot. Little Caesars Pizza also donated 80 pizzas, breadsticks, and more gift certificates (raffle prizes) to this event.
- We Don’t Waste – We Don’t Waste donated a variety of scrumptious gourmet cupcakes.
- Yoli’s Granoli – Yoli’s Granoli donated 40 packages of various delicious organic granola blends.
- Denver Urban Gardens – Denver Urban donated fresh vegetables: zucchini, squash and cucumbers.
- Sisters of Color United for Education – Donated tents for the event.
A special thank you to our vendors:
- Fiesta Party Rentals
- Polar Ice
- Xcel Energy
- Jose Hernandez
Fresh Start and its dedicated partners are committed to the future of Sun Valley and its residents and urge the public to match donations and/or contribute to help the Sun Valley Summer Experience continue year round and well into the future!