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October 16, 2009 - Hay Bales & Horse Tales

What: Colorado Horsecare Foodbank Fall Fundraiser

Where: Evergreen Lakehouse

When: Friday, October 16, 2009

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $60 per person / $600 per table

Beneficiary: Colorado Horsecare Foodbank

EMCEE: Page Lambert and John Gritts

Founders: Juliana Lehman

Music: Jon Chandler and Pete Martinez

Auctioneer: David Reisman

Attendance: 200

Attire: Western Flair

Special Thanks: Aspen Park Liquors, BergenPark Liquors, Dave Boucher, 09 Evergreen Rodeo Queen Emily Bowers and Princess Katy Rydzik, Jay Burns-Chow Down, John Chandler, Colorline, Corporate Buying Services, Cheryl and Steve Denbow, FX170, John Gritts, Jefferson County 4H, Sandy Jones, Page Lambert, Lucille's, Pete Martinez, Jim Rea, Safeway market and all the wonderful volunteers

Florist: Center pieces designed by Sandy Jones of Cherry Willow Designs

Board of Directors: Juliana Lehman, Karen Cage, Kami Guildner, Margo Hamilton, Kelly Hendricks and Ellen Storeim

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 Jon Chandler and Pete Martinez rock the Evergreen Lakehouse
Jon Chandler and Pete Martinez rock the Evergreen Lakehouse

By Marcelo Mainzer


Horses lend us the wings we lack”
                                 (Pam Brown)


This sentiment has been felt all over the world. The magical feeling that the first person to ride on the back of a horse must have felt is repeated every time someone mounts for the first time. People have had bonds with animals since before we were even truly human and they give us reason to live and often the means of our very survival. 

Friday the 16 th of October, a group of people gathered at the Lakehouse in Evergreen Colorado to pay back a small measure of the love and protection that horses have given us. Founded by Juliana Lehman, the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank was “developed to address the growing challenge associated with feeding Colorado horses whose owners have been impacted by the current economic environment.  Horse owners face dire circumstances when they can no longer afford to buy food for their beloved animals and are taking desperate measures – abandoning horses and letting them forage for food or cutting back food to near starvation levels.”  

People who keep and love horses are often a hearty group, willing to challenge the weather and hard, dangerous work and lonely wilderness adventures, but the jaunt up into the pine forests of Dedisse Park was an easy ride on a beautiful day. A very light wind played over the surface of the lake as dusk fell and Horsecare supporters filled the rustic yet elegant Lakehouse, and almost all ventured out to the back veranda for the vistas and the open bar. 

Inside the lodge, the girls of the Jefferson County 4-H, who volunteered to help out with the event, were busily setting up the room, and board members and other volunteers made sure that every one of the wide variety of silent auction items had a bid sheet and were presented perfectly. The silent auction included many gift, entertainment and décor items including rich and colorful paintings with a western theme. Artists Doug Wodark, who contributed his work to the auction, and Paul Cunningham were there painting portraits. 

The list of people who contributed their time and efforts to this wildly successful inaugural event is too long to catalog, but suffice it to say it took a team of dedicated board members and volunteers.   Co-emcees for the evening were author Page Lambert and artist/educator John Gritts of the Cherokee Nation. John, an imposing figure of great stature and stoic demeanor surprised everyone with his humorous stories and Page, a rather diminutive lady, captured her audience with her reading of western poetry. 

The highlight of the evening was the pair of Jon Chandler and Pete Martinez, who filled the lodge, the surrounding canyons and the lakeside with the sounds of western music. Jon, whose list of achievements includes the 2009 WWA Spur Award for Best Song and Best Living Western Musician by True West magazine, is a huge and truly humble man. Pete Martinez is a Nashville recording artist whose musical influence has been felt from the roadhouse to the White House. He is a retired rodeo rider and lifelong horse rider with involvements in several annual trail rides and gatherings around the West. Sharing a guitar, Jon and Pete sang song after song from country blues to honkytonks. 

Founder Juliana Lehman rose to the front of the room to tell the story of Colorado Horsecare Foodbank, sharing the plight of the thousands of owners who have had to give up their horses for economic reasons, and the Foodbank's efforts to keep people and their horses together.   She introduced a film produced by FX170 with interviews of people that Horscare has helped and pictures depicting the love they hold for their equine friends. 

Auctioneer David Reisman ran a fast paced, exciting auction with the help of Kami Guildner acting as live item model with board member Karen Cage encouraging the bidding. One item of special note was given by Jim Rea from Colorado Horse Rescue who donated his rider training, and there were other items including several exquisite paintings and a Marlene Schulte bronze depicting a “Day at the Hunt.” 

The evening was capped with eating, drinking and dancing that only a group of people who know the freedom of the open range can appreciate.

  The horses paw and prance and neigh,
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins;...
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

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