Dear Editor:

Shavano Academic Booster Club (SABC) has been working hard to recognize amazing Salida students all year long.

As a nonprofit organization, we depend on volunteers, cash donations and in-kind gifts from our community to reward students for exceptional school participation.

This year, we awarded $7,000 in college scholarships to six high school seniors and gave 72 congratulation packets to our regular Student of the Month winners.

Although we had to cancel our Spring Awards Ceremony, all Student of the Month recipients got a personal visit from one of our board members as we distributed spring awards in person.

Without SABC’s volunteer board of directors, we could not provide the recognition our students deserve.

Special thanks goes to board members Marla Bruenich, Keri Thorpe, Shannon Nelson, Chelsilyn Ball, Dibby Olsen, Joe Smith and Cory Scheffel.

A huge thank you goes to retiring board member Leslie Garrity, who has been volunteering with SABC for many years. We are grateful for her unwavering commitment to honor students in Salida School District.

We appreciate all donations, no matter how small. All funds go directly to students in monthly recognition or college scholarships.

These businesses and individuals contributed $100 or more in cash or in-kind services: The Mountain Mail, Monarch Mountain, Walmart, High Country Bank, Tim Brown Photography, F Street Ventures, Monarch Manufacturing, Central Colorado Title and Escrow, Franco Stucco and Stone, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaffee County;

Amicas, Larry and Patricia Smith, Home and Design Inc., Currents Steak and Seafood, Jim and Molly Walker, Walbangers, Patio Pancake, Moonlight Pizza, The Pinto Barn, Fun Street Family Arcade;

Duane and Mary Beth Netz, Gateway Inn and Suites, Normagene Maltas, Liz Petersen State Farm Insurance, McDonald’s, Mariposa Window and Door, Cheryll Faust, Anderson Law Group, Su Casa, Kellie McQueen Newland;

Salida Mountain Sports, Pinon Real Estate Group LLC, Donna and John Rhoads, American Drilling Service Inc., Mt. Shavano Ski Rental, David Wood, Bob and Katy Grether, Craig Sommers, Thomas Palka;

Jenna Mazzucca, Mishmash Electric, Paige and Joe Judd, Bob and Charlotte Karls, Peggy and Doug Kane, The Mixing Bowl and Little River Ranch Bunco Ladies Club of Poncha Springs.

Dozens of additional donations were received at lesser amounts that are no less valuable.

Although we cannot list every person who made a financial contribution to the club in this letter, we want to impress that every donation, no matter how small, makes a big difference in our ability to recognize and reward Salida students.

Salida School District also supports SABC. Thanks go to Superintendent David Blackburn, Director of Academic Affairs Amy Ward, Principals Chuck McKenna, William Wooddell, Tami Thompson, Jill Davis and Talmage Trujillo and all district teachers who support our program by nominating Students of the Month.

Amid challenges of COVID-19 and uncertainty about next school year, you can rest assured Shavano Academic Booster Club will continue its mission to recognize exceptional students in Salida School District.

We look forward to next year, thanks to our generous community.

Johanna Hall, president, SABC,