“Fire doesn’t destroy community,” declared Brad Hillman, one of the Waldo Canyon fire victims. Indeed, Colorado’s most destructive natural disaster has created unexpected unity, bringing together the Democratic and Republican parties of El Paso County for a fundraiser.
Two local political parties, normally at odds on most issues, will combine their efforts to host a fundraising reception for Pike’s Peak United Way’s Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund on Wednesday, July 31, 2012, 5:30 – 7:00 PM at El Pomar Foundation’s Penrose House Garden Pavilion. Cost is a $25 suggested donation and is open to the public. Please register at www.peakdems.org or www.gopelpaso.com.
The party leaders joined together to plan this non-partisan event in hopes of motivating all citizens to unite in their support of the fire victims. “In times like these, we are reminded that we are all part of the larger community. We are not just Democrat or Republican, we are all citizens of Colorado Springs and El Paso County and we care deeply about our town and its people,” said Kathleen Ricker, Chair for the El Paso County Democratic Party.
“Now is the time for us to reach out to those in need and make that our priority.”
Eli Bremer, Chair of the El Paso County Republicans agreed. “People in our county want to help no matter what their political affiliation,” said Bremer. “We’re showing that we can put aside our differences to work together for the good of this community. If the Democratic and Republican parties can team up like this, then everyone can.” Bremer noted that this teaming between the two political parties is the first of its kind in El Paso County.
The evening will feature appearances by several elected officials from both parties, including Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, at the state and local levels, as well as members of the fire team and firefighters. Live music by Dixie-Q, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and conversations with elected officials of both parties will round out the evening.
Event organizers hope to raise $50,000 at this event, and stated that 100% of the proceeds will go to Pikes Peak United Way’s Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund. El Pomar Foundation donated the initial $125,000 to the fund, and it has since grown to more than a half-million dollars. The fund supports organizations that directly assist families and individuals affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire.