by Rick Helmick

At the year end meeting last week, we gave a report on how our fundraising went this year, as it comes to an end. I included the first slide below, and there are several more from the slide show Tom Arnot put together, and it’s now posted on our website. I might add that there is a second slide show – some very interesting pictures of our members, and some of our activities and work projects from throughout the year. Tom P went through hundreds of photos to put together the very best, so check that out also! Everyone who made a financial contribution as of last week is listed on our year end slide presentation online. A ‘thank you’ ad to all of you who contributed will run in our local papers next month.

We had a very good year, as we have raised over $21,000! This came from a combination of major donations and grants, from our direct mail campaign, donations to our inaugural Fred Rasmussen Scholarship Fund, plus various promotions and sales. You can read the breakdown in the chart below. Most importantly, the money we raised came with very little cost, so what we grossed is close to our net income. Our biggest expense was from our direct mail campaign, and that was mostly postage and printing.

As you know, the board decided to give the Caddis Festival a break this year. It takes over 1,000 volunteer hours to put this huge event on, and although our chapter’s membership is over 300, our core group that does all the work is only around 35 people. It’s a huge undertaking, and some of us thought we needed a break, thus the decision to try a direct mail campaign appealing to our past banquet sponsors, businesses and donors, and of course, you! Our Collegiate Peaks Chapter members believe in the Trout Unlimited mission, and together we are accomplishing great things.

It is because of you that we were able to raise the necessary funds to assist students pursue a college degree (water related), to work with our various partners such as CCC to purchase and protect land from development, the Ark River Community Preserve Project, water mitigation work on Monarch Pass, our two popular fishing derbies for children and their families, continued funding for our Ecosystems Learning Center, our CTU conservation and fishing camp, as well as our multiple Stream Science & Ecology classes for middle school and high school students, and of course, our Stream Explorers Program. Also, we will never forget our Veterans as we team up with Project Healing Waters to get them out on our rivers and streams for a day, several times a year. These are just some of the many ways we try to give back to our communities, while trying to protect our valuable water resources, at the same time. Most importantly, we are developing the next generation of river stewards, who will hopefully continue our work – to protect our rivers and streams, and their ecosystems. Thank you for being part of Trout Unlimited, and our local chapter!