Tour de Cedars

Volunteers from the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center (GMAEC) assemble to welcome participants to the first annual Tour de Cedars event held Sept. 29. Standing from left are new volunteer committee chairperson Sue Beachman and volunteers Nancy Snowdon, Terri LaVau, Jean Blanning and Dottie Whitlock. Seated in the foreground is Cindy Starr who serves as president of the GMAEC board of directors.

The first annual Tour de Cedars is now history and its success relied heavily upon generous community businesses, talented performers and artists and steadfast volunteers. Following months of planning, the community event came together Sept. 29, as 107 individuals toured four Surface Creek Valley homes. The event was a major fundraiser for the Arts Center and organizers report that the proceeds exceeded $7,000.

The homes, which were north and south of Cedaredge downtown, were billed separately as the Historic Stolte Home on North Grand Mesa Drive; a Family Retreat on Hanson Road; Creekside Elegance on Southeast Third Street; and Home on the Ranch on Southwest Melinda Road. In addition to touring each residence, visitors were treated to local artwork and music as well as food and beverages. And there were opportunities at each home to meet and interact with musicians, artists, and local vintners, baristas and chefs.

Artists on display included Arleta Pech, Wayne McKinzie, Tracy Munson, Patricia Carroll and Paul and Tracy Dill. Musicians included Edie and Holly Burgess; Dr. Mary Kleinsorge; David Starr; and Dan Morgan. Culinary representatives were Graystone Restaurant, Lost Mesa Grill, Johannes Chocolatier and RJ’s Steakhouse. Beverage purveyors included Chill Switch Winery, Stoney Mesa Winery, Jack Rabbit Winery and coffee by Stacy’s on Main. And each home was staffed with numerous volunteers who helped direct visitors and assisted with parking and other essential tasks.

GMAEC executive director, Deborah Shaffer, was pleased with the outcome of the tour and she plans to continue the event next year. Reflecting on the success of the inaugural event she said, “Feedback from attendees was so positive and complimentary, many already want to know which homes will be featured next year! We are grateful to everyone who supported this fundraiser.”

The GMAEC relies on volunteers and community support to present a wide range of concerts, films, creative classes and lectures. To volunteer or become a sustaining donor, pick up an application at the center, 195W Main St., or join online at their website: grandmesaartscenter.com

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