Eagle’s tribute concert benefits Summit County nonprofit
What: The Long Run-A Tribute to the Eagles
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Info: General admission is $35, reserved VIP tickets are $45 each and children under 16 are $10 with their parents or an adult.
Info: Buy tickets online at breckcreate.org or the box office. Call (970) 547-3100 for questions.
A banner slung across Breckenridge’s main thoroughfare advertises an Eagles tribute concert this Saturday, but what it can’t show potential concertgoers are the memories that families facing the loss of a loved one will create with money raised through the annual benefit show.
Domus Pacis is a cozy, tightly run nonprofit based in Summit County. They work out of a quaint, low-frills, third-floor office with a small staff, a lot of smiles and, perhaps most important, a great love for what they do.
The handful of people there are headed by the nonprofit’s co-founders, husband and wife tag-team duo Marylouise White-Petteruti, better known as “Duck,” and her husband, Vince. Their personalities couldn’t be more different but the pair complements each other well, and after retiring from corporate jobs, they love what they do.
Together, they seek to offer families dealing with an incurable diagnosis respite, or time away from it all to heal and make new memories, in a peaceful Rocky Mountain setting.
“It’s that bridge between treatment and end of life,” Duck said of the more than 120 families served by Domus Pacis last year alone. “They will pass from the disease they are dealing with, but they are not yet in hospice care.”
They hope to bump that number to more than 200 families in the coming years. It can be an adult or a child, that doesn’t matter. Most of their cases are cancer-related, but they serve people facing other illnesses as well, Vince said.
During respite, everything, save travel costs, is provided by the nonprofit and its staff free of charge to the families, which are only required to commit to a minimum five-day stay and pen thank yous before they head out.
Duck and Vince said they set that minimum so people won’t mistakenly think of respite as a vacation.
“Our typical respite, 90 percent of our cases, it takes seven nights,” Duck said. “Healing takes a while.”
“We’re not a travel agent,” Vince added as he and Duck tried to define exactly what Domus Pacis — Latin for ‘house of peace’ — is all about and how it’s different from other charities.
“We understand the need for healing, different from medical healing, but the need for healing emotionally, spiritually and mentally, is a need that is really throughout the whole family,” Duck said, “and that’s what respite means.”
For the White-Petterutis, the impact is obvious.
“You meet the family at the beginning, and you can tell right away this is going to be a special week,” Vince said. “Then we come back at the end, and people talk about what happened. They’re pretty open in terms of having that last conversation, or in terms of forgiveness, or in terms of, ‘Hey, this is a whole lot better than saying goodbye to me when I’m not alive.’ It’s extremely powerful.”
To pull it off, Domus Pacis relies on donations from the community and money raised through the nonprofit’s series of tribute concerts.
The Eagles tribute is the first of four shows this year — five years ago they started with one and have slowly ramped up since then — with the other three paying homage to John Denver, Motown and, new to the series, “Chicago.”
Generally, about 550 to 750 people attend these concerts, Vince said, and without the money raised through them, Domus Pacis wouldn’t be able to help nearly as many families.
Additionally, the concerts serve as a conduit for information and meeting people who might be able to help. Through the concerts, the nonprofit is often plugged to local residents and business owners who can donate their time and services. These donations come in the form of money, residences for the families to stay, services or in-kind donations.
Working at the nonprofit has turned Duck and Vince, in many respects, into beggars. That’s OK, they said, and when Duck drives by a rack of unrented fat bikes, for example, she sees opportunity.
“We are very dependent on this community, both on those who live here year-round, part-time or are virtually here,” Duck said.
With so many homes in Summit County being second residences, Vince added, it’s a nice locale for the nonprofit. In return, Domus Pacis hires cleaners to tidy up each home after it’s been used.
“What we’re doing is we’re networking the needs of people with the need of people to serve,” Duck said. “(The community’s) time and talent has great meaning. We all want to be of use, we all want to have purpose and we’re finding a really, really powerful impact on the community by being able to be a part of Domus Pacis.”
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