Snowball makes big impression

Benefit raises $38K for First Impressions, area children

— First Impressions of Routt County will receive more money than any other beneficiary in the 19-year history of the Snowball.

A check for $38,000 from funds raised through Snowball 2001 will help the children of Routt County in providing a variety of quality services. The focus is to increase the quality and affordability of early childhood development from birth to 8 years old.

Proceeds from Snowball will benefit children in Routt County through materials and equipment to increase educational development, training for professional staff, recruiting teachers for quality programs and providing scholarships for families to help pay for child-care tuition.

"The money raised is a direct correlation to how much the beneficiary put into it the effort they put behind it," said Heidi Barbee, event coordinator for the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. "A sellout always helps, too."

Snowball is an annual dinner and dance sponsored by ski corp. designed to support community organizations and outstanding residents of the town. Ski corp. chooses a different community organization every year.

"Our children are our future; we need to start educating and providing care," said Nancy Stahoviak, co-chair of First Impressions, adding the nonprofit organization has created a finance formula for licensed home-care and child-care centers on a per-pupil basis.

First Impressions was chosen as the beneficiary because of its monetary need, longevity in the community, current situation, future challenges and how it would spend the money received, Barbee said.

"We typically raise around $25,000 from ticket sales and corporate table sales," Barbee said.

Now, with the $38,000 proceeds from the silent and live auction during Snowball, First Impressions still needs to decide specifically where the money will go.

While also receiving the benefits of Snowball, First Impressions recently received a $10,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Human Services for early childhood emotional and social development. This grant will fund a project, still in the planning stages, for Social Emotional Early Development, or SEED.

Snowball typically raises more than $20,000 for the different recipients by celebrating the winter season and benefiting a local organization. During the past 10 years, ski corp. has raised more than $250,000 for local organizations.

Other beneficiaries in the past include: Steamboat Arts Council, Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Steamboat Mental Health, Perry-Mansfield, Horizons, Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, Partners in Routt County and LIFT-UP of Routt County.

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