Eagle County Pride hosts the first Big Gay Give Back Day

Eagle County Pride Committee with the emcee at this year’s Pride in the Park. From left: Dennis Martin, Maddy Partridge, Justin Chesney, Britny Rose (MC), Jordan Lyles, Orlando Ortiz.
Justin chesney

On Saturday, Eagle County Pride is hosting its first Big Gay Giveback Day, which invites members of the LGBTQ + community and their allies to spend the day volunteering together at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue in McCoy.

Eagle County Pride (ECP) formed during Pride Month last summer to host the first-ever pride celebration in Valley Park. Over the past year, ECP has continued to create opportunities for the local LGBTQ + community to connect through its online Facebook page and various in-person social events.

Justin Chesney moved to the valley about three years ago and became a member of the founding committee of ECP last summer.



“When I first came here I was meeting LGBTQ + ladies and gentlemen who live in the valley, but there was never really a place to go that you know to be 100% open and accepting, and there was never really a place to go that you knew to be 100% open and accepting. Certainly there were no events that were geared towards this sector of the community, ”Chesney said. “What we heard as we were preparing for the first Pride in the Park, and especially the second, is that a lot of the LGBTQ + community around this valley is really yearning for that connection, to have these places. sure to meet like-minded people.

The committee meets weekly to plan events and agendas to foster connection and representation from members of the ECP community, and hosted a Queer Coffee and Cocktails event at Two Arrows Coffee & Bar in Vail Village on the last Wednesday of each. month.



“It’s really cool bringing people together,” Chesney said. “It’s a smaller place, so it’s a more intimate group, but it works great for meeting people and socializing.”

Eagle County Pride hosts a Queer Coffee and Cocktails event at Two Arrows Coffee & Bar in Vail Village on the last Wednesday of each month.
Justin chesney

This Saturday will be the first time that the ECP will host the Big Gay Give Back Day, which combines community ties with meaningful volunteer work in the valley.

“We wanted to do some kind of give back to the community, and I used to work with Marleen [Bosch Hopkins, MVHR Director of Resources], who has been involved with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue for many years, ”said Chesney. “When the committee started talking about what kind of charity events we could do, I knew we absolutely had to contact her to become a partner.”

Volunteer Day will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Mountain Valley Horse Rescue (MVHR) Ranch in McCoy, during which volunteers will participate in a series of tasks that support MVHR’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate and relocate the abused. , neglected and abandoned. horses.

“We do any necessary upgrades, cleaning or maintenance on the ranch, but it’s not too difficult,” Chesney said. “It could be anything, like cleaning the stalls, feeding the horses, cleaning up the trash, the last time we were there my fiancé Dennis put up a fence. It’s a good little exercise, but it sure won’t be something that will overwork you.

Volunteers will participate in a range of tasks that support MVHR’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate and relocate abused, neglected and abandoned horses. Here, Justin Chesney cleans up trash from the ranch.
Justin chesney

LGBTQ + people of all ages are invited to participate in the first Big Gay Give Back Day, as well as community allies. Chesney said making connections between all age groups is an important goal of the PCE.

“This is something that we are focusing on is making sure that we have positive visibility for the younger generation so that they kind of have a framework established for them, and don’t feel pressured to find their way alone, ”Chesney said. . “Especially for high school kids, seeing the adults who are in the community and who are open and proud, it really has an effect on them and on their ability to feel more comfortable being themselves. authentic. “

Big Gay Give Back Day begins at 9 a.m. this Saturday, September 25 at 33933 Colorado River Road in McCoy, Colorado. For more information on this event and to stay up to date on future ECP events, visit the Eagle County Pride Facebook Page.


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