Diners Vote to "Keep the ART in SPARTANS" - SHS Drama Team Wins Soup Pot!

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It was a close vote, but in the end, the Salida High School Drama Team won the 29th Salida Soup pot of cash, totaling over $600. 
The dramatic Spartans were up against two other strong contenders: the Outdoor Nature Experiences (O.N.E.) Chaffee County and the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Parade & Potluck. 
Devon Kasper, the coordinator of the Drama Team, told the diners on October 19th that she had started a Kickstarter campaign to help get the kids to Denver for the Colorado Theater Conference (ThesCon) in December.
As Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" campaign, Kasper told the crowd, "if we don't meet our goal online, I would like the money we won to be divided between the other two presenters." 

If you are interested in helping Devon and the Drama Team reach their Kickstarter goal, go here! The Team's deadline is October 30.

PfCA hosts first PFLAG group in the Upper Arkansas River Valley

Mike Orrill, Leslie Henslee, Mark Monroe, Jimmy Sellars and Shannon Nelson. 

Mike Orrill, Leslie Henslee, Mark Monroe, Jimmy Sellars and Shannon Nelson. 

Salida LGBTQ advocates plan to create groups for parents and youth

Sam Liebl, Mail Staff Writer | Posted: Friday, July 7, 2017 12:06 pm

Parents, children and friends of the LGBTQ community gathered Thursday evening at Sellars Project Space for what organizers hope will be the start of a Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) chapter in Salida.

PFLAG began in 1972 when a mother publicly supported her gay son and has since grown to become the largest family and ally organization for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

Jimmy Sellars, one of the organizers of the meeting, said formation of a PFLAG chapter in Salida will help fill a big need in the community for LGBTQ support, especially for youth.

“This is the beginning of a lot of great things in the valley,” Sellars said.

The group is in the “infant” stages of becoming an official chapter, said organizer Mike Orrill, and plans to continue hosting meetings while it goes through the process of joining the national organization.

Orrill, who served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Salida, said he is straight and does not have children who identify as LGBTQ, but he feels motivated by his spiritual convictions to support people whom society marginalizes.

“I don’t like the idea of any group being discriminated against,” he said. “I’m interested in breaking down those barriers.”

A parent at the meeting, who did not want to be identified, said PFLAG provides support for children who identify as LGBTQ but also for parents who may feel their world has been turned upside down when their children come out.

“Parents don’t necessarily know what to do. Some get freaked out because its against their religious beliefs or they worry about their child. So it’s important to have someone to talk to, to know that other families go through this, and that they are OK,” the parent said.

Mary Ann Longwell, a licensed counselor who works in Salida, said she sees young people who need more support around LGBTQ issues and is also hopeful that Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups will be established soon at Salida High School and Salida Middle School.

Sellars said he is aware of 15 Salida students who are interested in creating GSAs at those schools. With support from teachers and parents, Sellars said he anticipates that students in Salida will form a group soon after the school year begins with the goal of attending a GSA leadership conference in October.

Organizers said the Salida pride celebration in June created momentum for LGBTQ activists in Salida to establish support groups, and future pride events could provide a source of funding for the planned PFLAG chapter and GSAs.

Orrill said he hopes Salida’s PFLAG chapter can provide resources for communities outside Salida and perhaps lead to creation of chapters in Buena Vista, Leadville and Custer County.

Some parents said they drove more than an hour with their children to attend the meeting.

ColoradoTicks.org Awarded Salida Soup Microgrant

ColoradoTicks.org (Colorado Tick-Borne Disease Awareness Association

Just one bite can change a life! Colorado is home to 25 species of ticks, some capable of transmitting diseases that can cause illness in people, pets and wildlife. Traveling to regions where tick prevalence and disease may be even greater exposes Colorado travelers to additional risks that they may not be aware of. Regardless of where or how exposure to ticks may occur, Coloradans need access to accurate information regarding risk, prevention, potential disease, testing and treatment within Colorado and throughout the US. Though not every tick may carry or be able to transmit disease every tick bite should be taken seriously.

For more information on ColoradoTicks.org and to see their upcoming events visit their website at ColoradoTicks.org.

Visit SalidaSoup.org to register to present or RSVP for the next soup - the 3rd Thursday of every month at the SteamPlant Event Center Ballroom. Salida Soup is brought to you through a partnership between the Salida Creative District and Sellars Project Space. This program is funded through diner donations, a variety of sponsors, and you! Subscribe today!