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Thank you Teton Valley

Newspaper: Valley Citizen & Teton Valley News

By Sandy Mason, VARD's Executive Director 

As a long-time resident of Teton Valley, describing the irreplaceable natural amenities here to visitors and potential visitors has become almost second nature. Majestic views, unparalleled fishing, bottomless powder, and the number one conservation priority in Greater Yellowstone are just a few standard descriptors of Teton Valley that I use time and time again.

That said, as the Executive Director of Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD), I've learned that the truly unique and irreplaceable asset that sets this community apart from the rest of the world is its generosity. Look no further than this year's Tin Cup Challenge to see the dedication and support shown by the people of Teton Valley to the nonprofit organizations that work for the people of the community.

But the giving spirit of Teton Valley still continues well past the Tin Cup. The Friday of Labor Day weekend VARD held a golf tournament put on by Huntsman Springs that also included generous donations from Targhee Village Golf Course, Teton Springs, Teton Reserve, and The Links course. Not to mention the support of all of the golfers, volunteers, and reception attendees who all feel strongly enough about responsible development in Teton Valley to give us part of their holiday weekend.

You might think it ends there, but that is just the beginning. On Sept. 30 VARD hosted our Ninth Annual Mad Hatter Party, held once again this year at Alpine Wines in Driggs. The event would not have been possible without, for starters, the willingness of Denis and Linda duNann to let us use their space, their staff, and their wine to make the event a success.

But wait, there's more. Tony Jewell's photographs graced the event posters, Grand Teton Brewing donated the beer, Ty Mack and 460 Bread brought the carbohydrates, Katie Alexander made the awards, Buol Heslin played the music, Natalie Volcko, Erica Linnell, Sarah McKeown, Emmett McCarthy Sr., Kay McCarthy, Tracy Delamater, Eric Spitzer, Rusty Cheney, Kent Werlin and Lori Bantekas all gave their time and talents to the event.

County planners Curt Moore and Angie Rutherford received the "Community Service Award" for their tireless efforts on behalf of the county while our "Volunteers of the Year" were August Christensen and Joyce Zajac.

Donors this year included the Hokin family, Grand Targhee, WorldCast Anglers, C.G. Sipe, John Fenn, Teton Water's Ranch, H.D. Dunn & Son, Snowdrift Farms, Beartooth Capital, Yoga Healer, Yoga Tejas, Alpenglow Farms, RAD Recycling, 22 Tech & Web, Eric Soyland, Rick's Framing, the Spitzer's and the Linn Ranch.

The continuing support of our community over the past ten years embodied in the examples listed above is what allows VARD to continue working, day in and day out to serve the public interest in the sustainability of wildlife, natural resources, and ultimately the economy. All of us here in Teton Valley benefit from the amazing vistas and abundant wildlife, but it's the continued generosity of the people that allows us to protect those irreplaceable assets that we have. Thank you.

Check out the article online at Teton Valley News here.

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