Experience Parker


New Cattle Crossing 5K & Family Fun Trek

Parker Parks and Recreation added a brand new event to their run series, and it’s the perfect way to kick off the summer! The Cattle Crossing 5K & Family Fun Trek will be one of the most scenic events in the popular run series. The course meanders through Idyllwilde past numerous feeder trails and right alongside the creek. Runners and walkers alike may spot some winged or four legged spectators along the trail; so be on the look-out for birds, deer or even cattle along the course.
Race day is Saturday, June 3rd, beginning at Tallman Meadow Park. 5K Pre-registration (until May 31st at noon) is $25; race day registration is $35. The Family Fun Trek pre-registration is $15; race day registration is $25.
The 5K is a professionally timed, sanctioned event. The Family Fun Trek is roughly a mile of laid-back, “outdoorsy fun.” All participants will receive a commemorative item and a delicious post-race pancake breakfast plus a chance to win prizes! Top male and female finishers as well as the top three finishers in 7 age categories will be awarded. The FREE Huntington Learning Center Kids’ Dash for runners under 8 follows the race, no registration necessary. Packet pick up is Friday, June 2nd from 5-7pm at RNK Running and Walking (13019 S. Parker Rd) or at the event beginning at 7am. The event will be held, rain, snow or shine.

To register, go to www.runningguru.com.


Minturn Anglers

In the classic movie, “A River Runs Through It”, Norman (the narrator of the film) states, “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.” The dedicated guides and anglers from Minturn Anglers would most likely relate to that statement. In no way is Minturn Anglers a mass production of getaways for the busy tourist season. They are passionate, knowledgeable and friendly guides who are eager to share their love and their knowledge of the sport with guests. With access to over 500 miles of waters, including lakes, mountain streams, rivers and private waters, Minturn Anglers pride themselves on creating the perfect experience for fishermen (women or children) from novices to experts. Go online to book anything from kids fishing camps, to ½ day local and full day floats; “cast and blast” duck shooting and fly fishing trips or excursions that include fishing and horseback riding. You can even book “fly in” trips for up to ten people. Get out and see Colorado from a fisherman’s point of view this summer.

Call 720.851.4665 or go to www.minturnanglers.com to plan your next adventure.

where in town?

A Monthly Scavenger Hunt

Would you like a $100 gift certificate to Trappers Chop House? Look through the magnifying glass and simply guess correctly where in Parker this is. We will randomly draw a winner from all correct entries! CLICK HERE to enter online – GOOD LUCK!

Did the photo from last month’s clue ring a bell?  It was Freenotes Harmony Park at the PACE Center!  If you haven’t seen it, Harmony Park is tucked at the far end of the PACE Center.  Specially designed, interactive art sculptures and percussion instruments are out for everyone who experiments with them to experience making music.  All the instruments serve as educational tools that spark imagination and allow all ages and abilities to create melodies.  The eight instruments at Harmony Park were the first public art exhibit to be approved by the “Art in Public Places Committee” for the PACE Center.

Camping Family Style (+5 Tips)

Camping Family Style

The great outdoors is calling…are you and your family ready to listen? No matter if you are a complete camping novice or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, Colorado has some of the best camping around. With many affordable and family-friendly locations to camp in Colorado (some just down the road) you really have no reason to not get outdoors! Here are some of our favorites.

Chatfield Reservoir
When visitors see Chatfield’s beautiful rolling foothills, expansive reservoir and abundant wildlife, they can’t believe the park is located just outside the Denver metro area. Their campground has full service sites available offering water, sewer and electric hookups or sites with electric only. Over thirty sites have new detached tent pads. cpw.state.co.us

Cherry Creek Reservoir
Easy to get to and with year-round camping available, Cherry Creek is great place for a quick week end trip or longer excursion. Their campground boasts deluxe full hook-up sites as well as basic tent sites. Showers and laundry facilities are also available. cpw.state.co.us

Jellystone Park™
Right down the road in Larkspur is a Yogi Bear™ themed, family-oriented, pet-friendly private RV park and campground. Located north of Monument and south of Castle Rock right off I-25. In addition to camping they have many guest activities including disc golf! Jellystonelarkspur.com

Eleven Mile
With nine separate campground areas, Eleven Mile provides a very wide range of outdoor experiences. From full hookup sites with electricity to more secluded non-electric back country sites, you will find a great place to enjoy the outdoors with the family. cpw.state.co.us

Golden Gate Canyon
Only a short drive north, Golden Gate Canyon offers such amenities as electrical hook-ups and tent-sites in two different campgrounds, stocked fishing ponds, picnic sites and the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, where visitors can see 100 miles of the Continental Divide.



5 Must Follow Camping Tips From Our Readers

1   Change your clothes (especially your socks) before you get into the sleeping bag. Fresh dry clothes will keep you warmer at night while you sleep.

2   At night, put your food in the car…not your tent. Critters love a midnight snack and you don’t want them waking you up to eat.

3   Dry ice in the bottom of your cooler will keep your ice from melting and help stop the “food soup” that your cooler usually ends up with.

4   Put a magnesium spark tool and dryer lint in a zipper lock style plastic bag to keep it dry. Very light and handy when matches aren’t available

5   Make a “camping box” and fill it with everything you need – plates, cups, matches, toilet paper, etc. Makes packing for your trip easy…it’s already done!

The Sky’s the Limit in Castle Rock!

The Sky’s the Limit in Castle Rock!

Castle Rock Zip Line Tours & EPIC Sky Trek

What if you could plan a day of incredible adventure, thrill your entire family (and get a great work out in too) without breaking the bank or spending all day in the car getting to and from your amazing destination? You can. Right in our own backyard, a truly EPIC adventure awaits!

Castle Rock Zip Line Tours, EPIC Adventure Tower and EPIC Sky Trek will become your family’s favorite destination this summer – and you can visit over and over to experience a different adventure each time! Over a mile of cable on ten different lines make up the longest and fastest zip lines in Colorado, traveling up to 50 mph! The EPIC Adventure Tower boasts a 42’ climbing wall, instructional rappelling and adrenaline pumping jumping stations. There’s also a 75’ eagle nest platform with the World’s highest Flight Line and a kamikaze zip straight to the ground. This is definitely not your run of the mill jungle gym!

The Extreme Aerial Adventure of the EPIC Sky Trek is like nothing else – anywhere else. It’s really a “choose your own adventure” experience. Stay on the lower levels or venture up to the top. Try any one of the 110 challenges included in the course – everything from climbing walls and aerial bikes to “Ninja Warrior” challenges, aerial surf boarding and much more! Much like the powdery slopes in the mountains, the challenges are rated from “bunny slope” type elements for kids and beginners all the way to double black diamond-like adventure for the thrill seekers, including the extreme bungee jump at the top of the tower. Once your orientation is complete you will be unleashed on the course to explore at your own pace and desired challenge level. This isn’t an elite athlete only course – the Sky Trek is designed for anyone and everybody to experience EPIC fun!

The only pre-requisites? Come with an open mind and definitely bring your sense of adventure. Oh, and closed toed shoes, safety first! You never know what you can do until you try. For a summer full of fun, get your season passes so you can drop in and tackle the Sky Trek anytime! Reservations are not necessary for the Sky Trek but recommended for the Zip Line.

If the kids are looking for a way to spice up their summer, use those passes to drop them off for a bit of fun while you look on from the observation area or sign them up for day camps that are offered throughout the summer (for campers ages 12-16.)

Perhaps your work-out buddies, co-workers or other groups are looking for something new to tackle together? Suggest an outing to the Zip Line and Sky Trek and be the hero of your next get together!

Come to get the kids to work together, come to get a great workout in, come to challenge yourself to do something you’d never thought you’d to – and leave with a heightened sense of confidence, an elevated level of exhilaration, and a yearning to come back and tackle it all over again!

Castle Rock Zip Line Tours is located in Philip S. Miller Park in Castle Rock – 1375 West Plum Creek PkwyCall 720.733.9477 or go to castlerockziplinetours.com

Camping in Every Corner of Colorado

Camping in Every Corner of Colorado

The state of Colorado doesn’t disappoint when it comes to things to do outdoors. One of the most popular activities come summertime, is to get out and see the Colorado landscape up close and personal at Colorado campgrounds. No matter which direction you turn, there are countless options for great camping adventures. Here are just a few from all over the state.

Northeastern Colorado

Known as the “Oasis in the Plains” the Jackson Lake State Park campground is open year round for fun in the sun (or snow.) Jackson Lake was once known best for hunting around its banks and now is a top destination for many outdoor sports lovers, year round. Campers can enjoy boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, fishing and swimming on the 2500 surface acre lake that is known for its warm water and sandy beaches; in fact, Reserve America has ranked Jackson Lake Park as one of the Top 15 park beaches! The campground offers 242 campsites, most with electric hook-ups. Summer weekend programs and junior ranger programming is also offered for kids ages 6-12. During the winter months, the campground offers great wildlife observation, photography opportunities, ice fishing, ice skating and hunting. Jackson Lake Campground is perfectly located away from town but not too far from convenience/grocery stores and restaurants, if campers want or need to get supplies in town. Jackson Lake Campground is located at 26363 County Rd 3, Orchard, Colorado, 80649. For more information call 970.645.2551 or check out www.coloradodirectory.com.

South/Southeastern Colorado

One of the great destinations for Colorado residents and visitors alike is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The sand dunes are some of the tallest in North America and are part of a sand deposit that covers more than 330 square miles. Situated amongst the pines beneath the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the Pinyon Flats Campground. This campground is a great family destination with so much to explore with the dunes, streams, grasslands and lush forests in the area. Exploring the dunes, especially on skis or a snowboard is a popular pastime for campers. There are miles of hiking and backpacking trails through forest and alpine terrain along the Mosca Pass Trail, Dunes Overlook/Sand Ramp Trail and the Indian Grove Trail. Campers can also explore Zapata Falls, which is located just south of the campground off HWY 150. On the western edge of the Great Sand Dunes National Park is the San Luis State Park, were campers can enjoy water sports including boating, water skiing, sailing, wind surfing and fishing. The Pinyon Flats Campground offers 88 camp sites with flush toilets and drinking water. May is the perfect time to visit; the Medano Creek melting waters create something of a natural water park! The Pinyon Flats Campground is located at 11500 HWY 150, Mosca, CO, 81146. For more information, call 719.378.6399 or go to www.recreation.gov.

South/Southwestern Colorado

Granite Tent Campground in Gunnison National Forest is a tent-camping only campground and a great place to really get away from it all. Located at the lower end of Taylor Canyon, it provides easy access to fishing, rafting and rock climbing. The tricky part is there are limited campsites and it’s a first come, first served camp ground open May through September. Gunnison National Forest combined with the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre Forests cover 3,161,900 acres of public land in the central and southern Rockies south of the Colorado River and west of the Continental Divide boasting some of the most spectacular scenery in the state. The forests vary in elevation from 5800 ft. above sea level in the Roubideau Creek area to 14,309 ft on Uncompahgre Peak. Within these forests are one of the world’s largest flat top mountains, the Alpine Tunnel, once of the highest railroad tunnels in North America and the breathtaking 355 foot high Bridal Veil falls. Whether you choose to stay at Granite Tent or venture out to another campground anywhere in that area, there will be no shortage of Colorado wonders to explore. The campground is located at 2250 HWY 50 in Delta, Colorado, 81416. Call 970.874.6600 or visit www.fs.usda.gov for information on these and other national forests.

North/Northwest Colorado

Aspen is usually thought of as a winter destination for skiers, but the Aspen Campground near Jefferson Creek is a perfect summer destination! The campground is located just a few miles from Jefferson Lake, which has one of the highest lake elevations around, at just over 10,000 ft. above sea level. The lake is bordered by 12,000 ft. peaks and both the lake and the creek yield promising trout catches for avid (or novice) fisherman alike. The deep, cold lake waters are home to Rainbow, brown, mackinaw and brook trout. No-wake boating is permitted and the boat ramp is easily accessible. In addition to fishing, campers can enjoy horseback riding, biking and hiking with access to two major trails. The Colorado Trail, a 471 mile trail that stretches from Denver to Durango and the West Jefferson Loop Trail, a footpath up the Continental Divide and loop for 11 miles are both popular hiking destinations. The single loop campground sits at 9900 ft. elevation and offers 182 acres shaded by groves of Aspen and Spruce evergreens. Picnic tables, vault toilets, a campfire ring and drinking water from a hand pump are all included and gravel parking aprons can fit up to two vehicles at campsites. If you want to get off the trail or the lake and check out the local attractions, historic Fairplay is close by. This ghost town was once a frontier boom town and the South Park City Museum contains 34 authentic buildings with 60,000 artifacts! To get to the Aspen campground from Fairplay, take HWY 285 north to Jefferson then turn left at County Road 35. Travel approximately 2 miles then take a right on County Road 37. The Aspen Campground will be about 2.5 miles after you turn onto CR 37. For more information, call 719.836.2031 or visit www.recreation.gov.

Central Colorado

If you want to stay a little closer to home, check out Mueller State Park. You’ll be treated to views of the Continental Divide to the west and Pikes Peak to the east and the chances are pretty good that you’ll see some great local wildlife as well. Black bear, deer, elk, fox, coyotes, big horn sheep and tons of birds are all in the area. If you want to try your hand at catching your dinner, Four Mile Creek has trout to add to your menu. Then you can work off your meal with a hike up Dome Rock or join in on a ranger-led nature walk. Year round recreation is ample with camping, picnicking, trail use, fishing and nature studies in the warmer months and sledding, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing during the winter. Pets are welcome at the park, but not permitted on hiking trails or in the back country. Keeping pets off the trails increases the opportunities to spot native wildlife in the area. Mueller offers 132 campsites (22 walk-in sites), 1 RV group site and 3 cabins as well as an on-site camper services building that houses coin operated shower and laundry, restrooms (summer season only), water hydrants and a dump station (summer season only.) The summer camping season kicks off May 1st, so now is the perfect time to plan a weekend getaway! The park is located at 21045 HWY 67 South in Divide, Colorado, 80814. Call 719.687.2366 or email Mueller.park@state.co.us for more information.

No matter which way the wind blows you, there are so many wonderful locations to venture out with your family this summer in our majestic state. For more suggestions on places to visit, check out www.beyondthetent.com or www.campcolorado.com.

Camping vs. Glamping

Camping vs. Glamping

Camp [kamp] (v):

to live temporarily in or as if in a camp or outdoors, usually for recreation (often followed by out)

Glamp [glamp] (v):

to experience the beauty of the outdoors without having to totally “rough it”

No matter where you go in Colorado, you’re bound to run into someone who can tell you the absolutely best campground spots around. The ideal places to pack the family up, find the “just-right” spot to pitch your tents, stoke the campfire and enjoy some time spent enjoying the Rocky Mountain outdoors. For many, nothing sounds better than filling the cooler, rolling the sleeping bags up and heading out into the great big wilderness. For others, the word camp is a four letter word. Bugs, dirt, few to no amenities aren’t just “roughing it” for some, it’s punishment.

For those that would rather schedule a root canal than head out on a traditional camping trip, consider a new trend in outdoor recreation… Glamping. Glamping, quite simply, a fusion of glamour and camping, has become something of a global phenomenon. There’s no pitching of a tent, no rolling of a sleeping bag and no smoky campfire to contend with or smoke from said campfire to redirect away from your face. Whether you choose to “glamp” in a more luxurious tent, a souped up airstream, a pod, hut, igloo, yurt, teepee, tree house or cabin, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without leaving all the comforts of home behind.

According to glamping.com, Colorado is home to several Glamping get-aways that may make even the most reluctant outdoorsman (or woman) change their tune a bit.

14ers Ranch, 3 hrs from DIA, offers tents or villas on their 85 acres of fields and mountains. Glampers can hike, mountain bike, fish, go horseback riding or even ATV riding. Rentals include bedding, towels, robes and slippers and firewood for the outdoor fireplaces (so not all camping traditions are lost.) Compare that to the experience at Great Sky Retreat, where you stay in a Yurt that is fed by the solar on the owner’s home on the property. Located equal distances between the Lemon Reservoir and Vallecito Lake, it’s in close proximity to the Southern rim of the Weminuche Wilderness, our state’s largest wilderness area and the home of the San Juan Mountains. Yurt not quite cutting it? Maybe Kessler Canyon will be more your speed. Featuring 13 guestrooms and two suites in two separate buildings, the Orchard Lake Guesthouse and the Homestead, Kessler Canyon strives to separate from the outside world for “pampering rejuvenation and reconnecting with the beauty of nature.” To make things a little more “glampy” in-room Internet access is available. If you’re looking for a more “all inclusive” experience, check out the glamping at Zapata Ranch where you can experience life working on a cattle ranch combined with the glamour of high-end amenities and gourmet dining. If it’s all in the name, then perhaps the C Lazy U Guest Ranch is what glampers are looking for. Known for their “Five Spur Service” the resort is Colorado’s premier luxury dude ranch getaway experience. Easily accessible from Denver, the all-inclusive Lazy U offers guests cabins or tents and amenities including a children’s park, community pool and hot tub, room service, turn down service and housekeeping.

So, my friends who fear the absence of running water, or cell service or just want to have some kind of structure surrounding them while they’re enjoying the great outdoors, consider upgrading your next camping trip to a glamping experience in a tent or a teepee, a tree house or an airstream trailer, a yurt or a villa.

Plan a stay-cation that will please even those most dubious when it comes to camping. “Glamp” it up a bit! For more information on many Colorado Glamping experiences, go to www.glamping.com

Going on a Fun Family Hike

Going on a Fun Family Hike

Colorado offers some of the best hiking and outdoor fun to be found. Many of these amazing hikes are right in our own back yards. No matter your skill level, from taking a stroll on a paved trail to roughing it with lots of boulders and hangs, within a short drive you can find some fun hikes. Pack up the family and head out to enjoy our wonderful environment. Here are some of our reader’s favorite places to enjoy a fun family hike.

Conveniently located right here in Douglas County, Castlewood Canyon boasts some of the best nature watching around. A great number critters and birds populate the area and can easily be seen on your family hike. In addition, Castlewood has a variety of trail types ranging from mild paved walking trails to moderately technical trails. If you are feeling adventurous, Castlewood also has rock climbing available with skills areas for beginners to advanced. cpw.state.co.us

Just up the road is Chatfield State Park. Known for its reservoir, Chatfield also has awesome hiking and paved trails that include biking, hiking and even horseback riding. In addition, Chatfield also boasts an really cool RC Plane airport for those remote controlled plane enthusiasts. The trail system at Chatfield also connects to other systems so you can reach it completely on trails, if you are one of those super long runner or biker types. cpw.state.co.us

Tucked at the base of the foothills is a beautiful display of red rock formations and vast amounts of wildlife known as Roxborough State Park. Definitely worth the drive, Roxborough has a wide variety of hiking trails for all skill levels. The family will have a great time wandering through the many picturesque areas and watching the wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera. cpw.state.co.us

If you are a dirt hiker or off road biker, then you won’t want to miss Waterton Canyon. Located on the west side of Douglas County, Waterton has a great six mile dirt road that goes up the canyon and is perfect for your hike or ride. If you want to get more technical, many more advanced trails connect that will offer great challenges while you take in the ample wildlife of the area. cpw.state.co.us

Ride or hike this 1224-acre open space buffer between Castle Rock and Franktown. Embark on this soft-surface trail from the trailhead at the old homestead at Parker Road. Follow the farm lane as it crosses over Cherry Creek and then winds up to the top of the mesa where it loops around viewpoints, rock outcroppings, grass and shrublands, as well as pines and junipers. douglas.co.us

Discovery Park

Discovery Park

Discover Music, Art, & More

A few months ago, Discovery Park, near the beautiful Parker Library, opened and drew the young and the young at heart in with the brand new Parker Ice Trail. Well, now it’s summer’s turn to turn heads! Discovery Park’s much anticipated play fountain and water feature is scheduled to open on Memorial Day. No doubt passers-by have seen the whimsical “Ball and Jacks” sculpture, now a gateway to the east end of Downtown Parker, by Christopher Weed of Colorado Springs. The larger than life representation of childhood toys beckons visitors to take time to stop and enjoy the park, the amazing new library just down the street – and now, kick off your shoes and literally get your feet wet in the splash pad. The approximately 900 sq ft water feature is complete with programmable water jets that are embedded below the paved surface and color changing LED lights – making evening splashing about even more fun than splash time in the day time!

In addition to the hours of fun to be had splashing in the fountain, Discovery Park is also the new home to a fantastic Performance Stage located at the north end of the park that will be used for concerts and other performances. To start the season off with a bang, Parker Arts is proud to present the Discovery Park Summer Concert Series. Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and beach blankets and settle in for an evening of fantastic entertainment. All shows will run from 6-8pm and are open to patrons of all ages; however no concessions will be available for sale and no alcoholic beverages will be permitted.

The line-up for the 2017 Summer Concert Series is packed with entertainment! Mark your calendars now and make sure to catch a show (or two, or three) this summer!

In addition to the attractions at Discovery Parker, a much-anticipated new park will open in Parker in 2017 that is sure to please both dog owners and recreation enthusiasts alike. The 40-acre site, located to the south of E-470 along the Cherry Creek Trail, will include a dog park, trailhead and 18-hole disc golf course.

The dog park portion of the site will feature nearly five acres of space to run, along with shade structures, seating areas, a drinking fountain, a small dog area and an agility course. The disc golf course will be located adjacent to the dog park and will include 18 holes designed with assistance from local disc golf enthusiasts and experts. Also accompanying the park will be a 75-space parking lot with access off Pine Lane.

The project has taken a bit longer than originally expected while the Town acquired more land for the site from an area developer. As a result, the park will be larger than originally planned. The soon-to-be-named Parker dog park and disc golf course is currently under construction and is expected to open mid-June, pending favorable weather conditions.

FREE Summer Concert Series Line Up

6/1 – Tunisia
6/15 – Ryan Chrys & the Rough Cuts
6/22 – Hazel Miller
6/29 – That Eighties Band
7/6 – Chris Daniels & the Kings
7/13 – The Long Run
7/20 – Dearling
7/27 – The Nacho Men

See all of Parker Arts’ upcoming shows at ParkerArts.org

The Bookends

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

By: Fredrik Backman

Elsa and her granny are inseparable. Nobody understands Elsa the way her grandmother does. She is often called different and faces bullies every day at school. At night, Elsa escapes into her grandmother’s fairy tales. Everyone thinks her grandmother is crazy, but she is Elsa’s only friend in the world. Elsa embarks on a great adventure when her grandmother dies and leaves letters that must be delivered to many people she wronged. Her life will never be the same.

PAM I was drawn to this unique story idea and completely lost when I realized this was the same author that wrote “A Man Called Ove.” I loved the quirky characters in that book and was not disappointed in this story. I was quickly pulled into this story with its very eccentric characters. Elsa’s grandmother made me laugh from the beginning. Did you find yourself drawn into this tale from the beginning?

BECKY I did not immediately connect to this story. There is little background preparation before the story starts so I floundered for a bit. The characters throughout the book are enjoyable and well developed. I just would have liked a bit more explanation of the fantasy part of the book so that I could have appreciated the magical essence of this story from the beginning. What is created later in the book is a sweet story so it was worth the initial confusion. Granny tells Elsa fairy tales and has created an imaginary place called Land-of-Almost-Awake. They access this land via the wardrobe in Granny’s apartment and travel to the various lands by riding cloud animals. Was it just me or would you have liked to see at least a map at the beginning of the book to set the stage for the Land-of-Almost-Awake?

PAM I would have loved to see a map with all of the different lands Granny created! This would have been a great visual for the different stories, as well as characters. Granny is very different than other adults that Elsa knows. We come to learn of many interesting stories about Granny and her experiences as we travel through this story. Do you think this helped form the unbreakable bond between granddaughter and grandmother?

BECKY Elsa is only seven when her grandmother passes away so I think the multiple stories that are revealed to her definitely helped etch Granny’s character in Elsa’s young mind. Before passing away, Granny has written several letters of apology to various people. Elsa embarks on something like a scavenger hunt to deliver these letters, and ultimately learn more about her Granny and the people that live around Elsa. Was there too much going on in this story or did you like the flow of the story?

PAM There was definitely a lot going on with the story and it was like jumping on a fast moving train at first. However, all of the pieces began to make sense and fit together as the story continued. So, although if felt very scattered initially, I loved the way everything tied together with Granny’s fairy tales. Elsa is bullied by other students at her school and her grandmother was always her biggest advocate, coming to her defense in meetings with the administration. Was this storyline about bullying challenging to read and did you worry that Elsa’s mother was not as strong of a defender for her?

BECKY Poor little Elsa was often cornered at school by bullies. It wasn’t graphic but it sure tugs at the heart strings when you read this story. For example, “Like many children who are different, she’s good at running.” That is just upsetting to read. I didn’t dislike her mother but she wasn’t one of my favorite characters. She had a lot going on in her life and although it’s not an excuse I could identify with not having enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Her executive job keeps her busy and she doesn’t have much time to actively parent Elsa. She also has a new marriage and is soon to deliver Elsa’s half brother (whom Elsa calls Halfie). I think that she relied on Elsa’s grandmother without realizing that Granny was starting to lose her mind and that Elsa really needed her mother. Unfortunately, Elsa also has a distant relationship with her father. What did you think about this quiet man?

PAM At first, her father’s attitude toward her really upset me. However, as we continue through the story, we are given the opportunity to understand him and his feelings about his daughter. It took me a while, but as secrets unravel, I came to appreciate this character and his love for his daughter. There are many eccentric neighbors in Elsa’s building that are involved in Granny’s tales. One of my favorites is a large animal called a wurse. Elsa discovers this creature from the fairy tales after her granny passes away. She saves this creature and quickly finds a friend that is loyal and gives her the support she has never found in a friend. Did you love this friendship between Elsa and the wurse?

BECKY I agree that this was a sweet friendship but it too was a bit confusing. I believe that this creature was a huge dog that belonged to her grandmother (although it lived in an apartment and ate chocolate). When you read this book you have to embrace that it is told from a seven year old’s point of view and there is a great deal of imagination employed throughout the story. If you can do that then I think you would enjoy this story. It’s time to say goodbye to Elsa and crack open our next book set in 1865. Next month join us as we discuss The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers.

Dalton’s Moon Foundation

Dalton’s Moon Foundation

We would like to introduce you to a remarkable person. Dalton Levine was an extremely generous, smart, vivacious, passionate, and funny young man.

A gifted musician, he began violin at the age of 5 and eventually became first chair violinist at Legend High School and played with the elite chamber orchestra for three years.

A phenomenal, competitive dancer, he won numerous awards at the local, regional and national levels. He danced in the community’s annual performance of the Nutcracker of Parker for ten years, working his way up to the lead roles of Nutcracker Prince and Cavalier and participated in Colorado School of Dance’s “Dance for a Difference” show, an annual fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Colorado, since its inception. To date, this annual benefit has raised well over $100,000 for the hospital.

An exceptional student, he planned to attend CU Boulder, then medical school to become a pediatrician. Dalton graduated from LHS with honors, in the top 3% of his graduating class.

Most unfortunately, Dalton was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer, adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), in September of 2014. Throughout treatment, Dalton kept his sense of humor, did what he could to comfort younger cancer patients, and inspired everyone around him. He never gave up. He never gave in and continued to see the bright side through even the darkest of days.

Sadly, Dalton passed away on December 13, 2016.

To honor his memory and continue his legacy, Dalton’s parents have created the Dalton’s Moon Foundation as a means to empower an army of doctors, nurses, clinicians, scientists and support staff that are in our hospitals.

“It is our way of paying back a fraction of the love and support we received throughout his battle. Dalton’s Moon Foundation will help to make the dream of “no more cancer” a reality.”

It’s their goal to raise $10,000 this first year. In order to meet that goal, they are calling on the community to support the inaugural Dalton’s Moon Golf Tournament, on June 13th at Spring Valley Golf Club in Elizabeth. This event will offer golf, a catered lunch, and a silent auction. Funds raised will go to Children’s Hospital Colorado, ACC research, and a scholarship for a Legend High School student who exemplifies the same qualities and passion for learning and helping others that Dalton did.

If you are unable to participate in the event, please consider becoming a sponsor through donation. All donations, including cash and items donated for silent auction, are tax-deductible. Go to www.charitysmith.org to register or to contribute.
To donate an auction item, please email Sue Provan at SueSalden65@gmail.com.

The entire Levine family, Gary, Karen, and always Dalton, appreciate your trust and generosity and thank you for your support.

Local Author Spotlight

The Children’s Train: Escape on the Kindertransport

Historical Fiction Book about the Holocaust

By Jana Zinser

In November 1938 on The Night of the Broken Glass, the Jewish people of Germany are terrified as Hitler’s men shatter their store windows, steal and destroy their belongings, and arrest many Jewish fathers and brothers. Parents fear for their own lives but their focus is on protecting their children. When England arranges to take the children out of Germany by train, the Kindertransport is organized and parents scramble to get places on the trains for their young family members, worried about what the future will hold. Soon, trains filled with Jewish children escaping the Nazis chug over the border into Holland, where they are ferried across the English Channel to England and to freedom. But for Peter, the shy violin player, his sister Becca, and his friends Stephen and Hans, life in England holds challenges as well. Peter’s friend Eva, who did not get a seat on the Kindertransport, is left to the evil plans of Hitler. Peter, working his musician’s hands raw at a farm in Coventry, wonders if they should have stayed and fought back instead of escaping. When the Coventry farm is bombed and Nazis have reached England, Peter feels he has nothing left. He decides it’s time to stand and fight Hitler. Peter returns to Germany to join the Jewish underground resistance, search for the mother and sister he left behind in Berlin, and rescue his childhood friend Eva.

This book is available for purchase on Amazon.com.
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