After sporting a mustache for the month of October and enduring heckling from friends, family, co-workers, and strangers a like, the Cottonwood Institute “Growing Team” successfully raised $2,645 through a unique fundraiser in Denver called Mustache 4 Cash. A very special thanks goes out to Chris Zook, Nate Bankirer, Ryan Bovard-Johns, and April Pishna for participating.
The money we raised from this campaign will be used to support programs at Gilpin Montessori E-8 School in Denver. Gilpin is an inner city school serving at risk students and many of these students see the mountains every day, but do not have the opportunity to explore the outdoors.
Check out the following video to help re-live the magic:
Ford Church, Founder and Executive Director of the Cottonwood Institute, is an amazing man who sadly does not have the ability to grow facial hair. But this October, despite the odds, Ford will be attempting to grow a mustache! Why would he want to do such a silly thing you ask? Well, for Mustache4Cash of course!
Mustache4Cash and Color4Kidz is a Denver Fundraiser started in 2004 by the Youth Opportunity Fund, an organization committed to raising money for non-profits serving “at risk” youth. The way it works is that willing men and women in the Denver area called “growers” and “colorers” will be sporting handsome staches and stylish streaks for the month of October. Each of these men and women are reaching out to the public for sponsors to donate money to their cause.
April Pishna, Cottonwood Institute’s Administrative Coordinator and all-around multi-tool will be joining Ford in this ultimate adventure, along with Ryan Bovard-Johns and Nate Bankirer, two amazing Cottonwood Instructors.
We are participating in this creative event to raise money to help increase the accessibility of the outdoors to low-income, inner city public school students at Gilpin K-8 Montessori School in Denver, CO during the 2009 – 2010 school year. The money we raise will be used to offer a 1-day field trip for World Water Monitoring Day, a weekend overnight camping trip to practice leadership and teambuilding skills, and a 1-day rafting trip next spring. Most of these kids have never even been to the mountains!
Give Cottonwood Institute a hand by donating to this campaign. Its quick and easy! All you have to do is visit this link http://www.mustache4cash.org/users/294 and make a donation before October 24th.
There is just something about wolves that makes them unforgettable, especially when you get right up close and personal with these amazing animals. On July 18-24, 2009, the Cottonwood Institute took eight brave students out on their Endangered Wolves and Animal Tracking Project. Not only did they pet the wolves, but they came right up to give the students a big, wet kiss on the face!
The course took place at a wolf sanctuary called Mission: Wolf in the Wet Mountain Valley just south of Westcliff, Colorado. Lead by Cottonwood Institute Instructors Brittany Salley-Rains and Ryan Bovard-Johns, the students met the wolves, learned about their behavior and their importance in the ecosystem and fed the wolves. They helped out around the sanctuary by collecting firewood and lending a hand in the beginning stages of building a tepee for future volunteers to stay in.
In addition to their work with the wolves, the participants also learned important wilderness survival skills, including an awesome demonstration of hand and bow drill fire making by Mission Wolf Volunteer Andy Elmgren. They also went on fun hikes, participated in stalking games, nature awareness, and animal tracking activities.
“The course was sick,” says James Hanifin (a.k.a. Night Hawk) a junior at New Vista High School in Boulder. James took the course because he wanted to chill with the wolves. When asked about his experience James said, “The wolves were sweet, I gained a lot of respect for the wolves and learned a bunch of survival skills.”
Zamantha Quezada of Englewood, Colorado found out about the course from her niece and thought it sounded interesting. “I liked the course, I liked getting to be with the wolves and petting and feeding them.” Zamantha plans and returning to Mission: Wolf to volunteer so she can spend more time with the wolves.