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Sometimes all you need is faith. Faith in knowing something will work out just as it should and faith that it will all work out for the best.

This was the kind of faith we had when we decided to take on the 1st Annual Raptor Festival.

Though coordinating events was no new thing to me (it's been my job for the past ten years), it WAS new to Chadd, and coordinating a family business event WAS new to me! Normally, I was used to coordinating events for non-profits and larger corporations. Not a home-grown deal.

This was our first, real, big jump for our business and we wanted it to be a success. No pressure.

We needed funding to help get this event off the ground. And though the Town and Silt and the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation have been so supportive and amazing at helping to get this thing together, we needed funding to make it happen.

Because our business is fairly new in the big scheme of things, businesses in our community were a little hesitant to give away their hard-earned cash to a couple trying to put on a community event. I think a lot of people we talked with must have thought we were scam artists.

We literally made these long lists of businesses in the community and started calling. We made A LOT of calls. I think Chadd blanketed the entire valley. Make that, the sate. Actually... the nation! We received a check in the mail from a Florida resident with a business in Snowmass. So, I guess we can say we are nationally supported!

We got a lot of no's. Which was hard for me to see the look of disappointment on Chadd's face when he got a "no". But the few "yes's" we got made all the difference. I made few calls to some long-time friends who were owners of local businesses and many of them obliged to help. Some folks wanted to, but just couldn't swing that kind of donation. Times are tight our here on the western slope, so we really understand when folks aren't able to help like they want to. It made the sponsorships we DID get, all the more valuable.

Within a few weeks of all our calls, we started seeing checks come in the mail, and we knew, this was actually going to happen.

As we quickly near this event, day by day, I often get stressed out we don't have everything together. Chadd is usually the level-headed one here... assuring me everything is going to be fine. Which it will be. It always is. And now, we don't have to stress about having enough funding to cover this event. Our hearts were so warmed by each business that cared about what we are trying to do in our community. Even those that couldn't sponsor expressed their appreciation for our efforts.

We want to help educate our communities about wildlife and our local bird and raptor populations. We want to give something to our community that folks will enjoy, learn from and look forward to next year!

Without the sponsorships given by these generous companies, we never could have made this happen.

Thank you: Alpine Bank, Town of Silt, Moebius Realty, Cayton Ranger Station Foundation, Somethin' Sweet Candy Plus, B&Y Drilling, and Wyoming Camera Outfitters. We truly could not have done this without you!

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