There's no denying it, everyone loves a good party. On Friday, March 17, 2017, that's exactly what went down in the mile-hi, winter sports crazed city of Denver, CO.
It wasn't long after the 2016 presidential election when I first approached the crew at Protect Our Winters. The political landscape was taking a sharp directional turn and quickly raised a lot of questions about the future of where our country's climate change agendas would be heading. At this point, we all had a pretty good idea of where our new administration stood on the subject simply based on the highly volatile campaign trail leading up. Needless to say, I felt an immediate call to action to do my part in taking a stand for what I believe in.
I wanted to help POW the best way I know how; by raising funds and awareness while having a damn good time doing it. So the planning for an art show, gear give-away, beer-drinking, music filled evening alongside the action sports enthused community of Denver began immediately. After some back and forth about nailing down a date for the event, we eventually settled on Friday, March 17th; St. Paddy's Day. Perfect, I thought, people love to get out and celebrate on St. Patrick's Day, and what better than for a good cause. Feeling stoked about the chosen date, I texted a friend about the new advancement who immediately replied back with, "call it Saint POWtricks Day!" Then and there, the name stuck and the concept for making this event a reality was on a non-stop train to party town.
For the next three and a half months I planned religiously, coordinated with artists in the outdoor action sports world, rallied a slew of sponsors to get involved, and banded together with those in the local community to launch the first ever Saint POWtricks Day Bash. The art work, which hung in evo's gallery throughout the entire month of March consisted of fifteen different pieces ranging from photography to block-prints to mixed media and paint. The work was as diverse as each artist that submitted a piece, making for a unique offering of different styles and techniques used throughout the outdoor winter sports community.
Photographers Noah Wetzel, Dean Blotto Gray, and Flip McCririck sign their pieces for Saint POWtricks Day.
As the evening began to unfold, people started filing through the doors to purchase beer and raffle tickets and take a shot at winning some art in the silent auction. With music flare provided by Dan Grund, bites from Zeps Epiq Sandwiches and delicious beer being served from Upslope Brewing, the space at evo was certainly filled with good vibes. Once the time came to draw raffle tickets and give away some gear, the crowd was alive with energy and stoked to win some great prizes. It made for a truly special experience to be a part of.
With events like this, the importance of raising awareness and building a sense of community with other like-minded people is quite possibly the number one priority. Sure, raising money, winning some artwork or gear, and drinking some delicious brews is a definite bonus to attending, but connecting people and allowing new ideas to pour through the floodgates is why these events are so important. For it's spawning new thinking and empowering people to act on their dreams where we can really crank up the volume on positive change for our planet.
Watching familiar faces connecting with one another is what it's all about.
Throughout the evening, less than two hundred people came out to support the cause; however, the politically charged and progressive community of Denver helped to raise nearly six thousand dollars [$5819 to be exact] to aid in the continued fight on protecting our planet's climate, environment, and in turn, Protecting Our Winters.
Without the support of artists, sponsors, coordinators, and attendee's, this event would not have been possible, so it is with great gratitude that I send a resounding Thank You to everyone that follows:
Finally, thanks to Barbara and Torrey at Protect Our Winters for the back end assistance on making this dream come to life. Your efforts on fighting for positive change are highly appreciated by the outdoor sports communities and our environment.