Children launching horse rescue group

A group of eight children, ages 6 through 12, with parental support, have started the Grand Valley Horse Rescue. Their mission is to create a green space, centrally located between Palisade and Mack, for a horse rescue so the children of the community will have more affordable access to horses.

Research has shown that interaction with horses improves children academically, assists with emotional issues and helps with physical limitations, according to the press release. The horses with the highest likelihood to be trained to be children’s horses will have priority.

The Grand Valley Horse Rescue, GVHR, will be having their launch party from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Mesa County Sheriff Posse’s Halloween gymkhana, which is on 25 Road and F ½ Road. Those community members interested in learning more the group are encouraged to come by to meet the kids and their first rescue horse, Simon of Rio.

This event will be their first fundraiser so there will be face painting for a donation. There will be food with the gross proceeds going to the rescue. There will be T-shirts designed by the children with the help from a local artist for sale. And there will be equine stylized face masks in both adult and children sizes and handcrafted lotion bars for sale.

For more information please go to GVHR.org.

2-1-1 Call Center receives COVID grant

“Western Colorado 2-1-1 has long provided a valuable service all over western Colorado and the demand placed on them during the global pandemic has been massive,” said United Way of Mesa County Executive Director Zebulon Miracle. “2-1-1 connects thousands of people in need to the other great agencies, services and resources in our community.”

Western Colorado 2-1-1 is a confidential service, free of charge, which refers callers to health and human service resources such as housing, food, utility assistance, financial assistance, and legal services. By dialing 2-1-1, those in need of assistance are connected to an operator who has access to an extensive database of services and resources, according to the press release.

Western Colorado 2-1-1 serves 16 counties in Western and Southwestern Colorado; by September they had already had more calls (5,324) than all of 2019 (4,370).

Christie Higgins with Hilltop Community Resources said the program saw demand peak in March and it picked up again in the fall.

“2-1-1 is a vital service to our communities here on the Western Slope, helping people get connected to critical resources in their communities at a time when needs are at an all-time high,” she said. “We are so very grateful for the funding that 3M is providing 2-1-1 so that can continue to support our community members and get them connected to the supports they need.”

United Way of Mesa County supports 27 agencies that offer 43 programs related to health, education, and self-reliance.

AAA warns of dangers of time change

AAA Colorado warns that Sunday’s end of Daylight Saving Time brings with it more than just an extra hour of sleep. The seasonal shift combined with new lighting conditions during morning and evening commutes has been shown to increase the risk of a car crash for several weeks following the switchover.

”Shorter days mean many of us will drive more in the dark, especially 9-5 commuters,” AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley said in the press release. “That’s a problem, in part, because we’ve gotten used to nearly eight months of daylight during the evening commute. That all changes now. Sunset is one of the most challenging times to drive, as your eyes must frequently adjust to increasing darkness.”

AAA Colorado recommends drivers reduce speeds and increase following distances, ensure headlights and tailights are operational and get plenty of rest.

Researchers at Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University, in partnership with the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia, found that changes in motorist behavior as Daylight Saving Time ends increase crashes due to driving drowsy.

Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Symptoms of drowsy driving can include trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes, or not remembering the last few miles driven. More than half of drivers involved in fatigue-related crashes experienced no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel, AAA Colorado reports.

”Your body can’t always warn you that you’re too tired to drive,” McKinley said. “The only safe bet is making sure you get enough sleep.”

Research from the 2016 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report on sleep deprivation and motor vehicle crashes shows that missing just one to two hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly doubles crash risk. All told, drowsy driving contributes to more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year.

Grant announced to help hunger relief

The Western Colorado Community Foundation announced a $197,000 grant this week from The Colorado Health Foundation, a statewide philanthropic institution committed to supporting food access and security.

The grant will help Western Colorado Community Foundation and the Mesa County Hunger Alliance continue to address hunger in our community, with funding supporting several organizations, according to the press release.

“Our Community Foundation is thrilled to receive this support to continue building our community’s efforts to alleviate hunger,” Anne Wenzel, President and Executive Director of Western Colorado Community Foundation, said. “What I find even more important than the generous funding from The Colorado Health Foundation is the incredible vote of confidence this support provides to the Hunger Alliance’s efforts.”

The Mesa County Hunger Alliance is a coalition of over 20 hunger relief organizations and agencies that have been sharing resources and best practices to better meet the needs of our community.

The Western Colorado Community Foundation serves seven counties in western Colorado, managing charitable funds for community good. Currently, the Community Foundation manages over 265 charitable funds totaling over $80 million in assets and awards over $3.4 million in grants and scholarships annually.

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