Your Town, Feb. 16, 2014

The 2014 Sochi Olympic games are in full swing and have been fun to watch thus far.

The high-flying flips and twists of slopestyle skiing and snowboarding keep me glued to the TV.

Telluride skier Gus Kenworthy not only won a silver medal in slopestyle this past week, but received high scores from animal lovers worldwide after befriending four stray puppies and their mother and arranging to send them back home for adoption by family members.

I too, am guilty of befriending a puppy and bringing him home, when I was in first grade. Every day, I’d stop to pet the little guy on my way to and from school. He was kept on a leash outside an apartment and would playfully wiggle and lick my face as I cuddled him.

One day, the owner asked if I would like to take him home. I remember holding the tiny white ball of fluff tightly in my arms, my 7-year-old mind wrestling with how to convince Mom and Dad we needed dog.

We named him “Curly” and he was a beloved family member for 23 years.

Stray dogs are common in Sochi, news reports say, and with all the recent activity there, the stray dog population near the Olympic park has soared. To battle the city of Sochi’s contract to eliminate the thousands of stray dogs, animal activists have taken the pups to their homes and to shelters with hopes of finding them permanent homes.

Kenworthy’s effort to vaccinate and provide loving homes for the Russian brood is a doggone, tail-wagging, happy ending.

Grand Valley Pets Alive, a local nonprofit organization helping to save the lives of companion animals, will be the recipient of a portion of proceeds raised at two fundraising events this month that will celebrate World Spay Day.

Naggy McGee’s Irish Pub, 359 Colorado Ave., will host the first fundraiser from 4–10 p.m. Saturday. The second fundraiser will be from 4–8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Cafe Sol, 420 Main St.

World Spay Day is designated as the last Tuesday of February but is promoted throughout February, a news release said.

Spay Day, initiated by actress Doris Day and her Animal League in 1995, is now organized under the auspices of the Humane Society of the United States. The day is “intended to bring to the attention of the public the importance of spaying/neutering their pets, feral cats, and stray dogs,” the release said. 

“Spaying and neutering is key to reducing the overpopulation of these animals and reducing the number of animals euthanized in shelters.”

Grand Valley Pets Alive is dedicated to saving the lives of animals in the Grand Valley, and part of its program is to help people financially with spaying and neutering.

Proceeds from the events at Naggy McGee’s and Cafe Sol will go toward that effort. The group also promotes trapping and neutering of feral cats, thereby helping to reduce their population. 

Visit for information.

The Mesa County 4–H Council will have its annual chili cook-off from 3–6 p.m. Saturday at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Community Building, 2785 U.S. Highway 50.

New this year is a “pro” division, so in addition to the chili prepared by 4–H families, diners will get to taste award-winning chilies of the community.

Cost is $5 for endless chili samples. Desserts created by the 4-H cake decorators will also be available, along with cake walks and a silent auction.

If you are interested in helping at the event with donations or would like to enter your chili, call Denise Massey at 250-2691 for information.

The Chipeta Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society will host a lecture titled “Flume Fever — The Hanging Flume,” by Jerald Reid, from 7–8 p.m. Wednesday at Montrose United Methodist Church, at South First Street and Park Avenue in Montrose.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Email chipetaarchaeology for information.

Are those four walls driving you crazy this time of year? There’s relief in sight!

The Orchard Mesa Lions Club and Operation Interdependence will host the Cabin Fever Reliever 5K Run/Walk, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

All money raised will benefit Operation Independence, a nonprofit organization that sends care packages with handwritten letters to troops overseas, and Colorado Lions Camp, a camp that serves those with special needs from ages 8 to adult.

“Appropriate for both runners and walkers, this 5K will start at the Orchard Mesa Lions shelter at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, follow a fun course through the residential areas of Orchard Mesa and loop back to end at the Fairgrounds,” according to the registration website. 

Soup and hot chocolate will be served indoors at the end of the race, a free 15-minute yoga session offered, and raffle prizes awarded.

Visit to register and for information.

The Montrose County Historical Society invites the public to its third annual Pioneer Social honoring the DeJulio Family, beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at United Methodist Church, 19 Park Ave., in Montrose.

Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit the Montrose County Historical Museum.

Call Sally at 249-2085 or email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information.

Submit your Planner and community news items by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to P.O. Box 668, Grand Junction, CO, 81502. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.


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