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A vision for Summit County nonprofits

KIM NICOLETTI
summit daily news

FRISCO – “The Summit Sensation is about to begin.”

Bo Tomlyn ended his Powerpoint presentation to a very small group of people Monday afternoon, announcing his plan to raise money for Summit County’s nonprofits by organizing a huge event that would showcase the best of Summit County’s entertainment. He and former mayor Bernie Zurbriggen have gathered about 25 community members in support of their vision.

The event, proposed to be held at the Dillon Amphitheatre or Riverwalk Center, would occur in early summer. Tomlyn and Zurbriggen wanted to push the event for April 24, but arts organizations and community members didn’t think they had enough planning time. The event was also proposed to help the Haitian relief effort, but that idea has also since been dropped.

Tomlyn and Zurbriggen would like to see all of the arts organizations and musicians in Summit County participate, including solo musicians, bands, school and church choirs, dance groups, magicians and more.

“There’s a huge benefit in bringing all of this wonderful talent we have in Summit,” Tomlyn said, giving the acronym “SWAT: Summit Working All Together” to his mission.

His goal involves raising a minimum of $50,000 at the first event, then hosting a second event around Thanksgiving week, because “people’s mindsets (of giving) are in the right place that week,” he said.

The day-long event would include an art show, silent auction and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a Summit Idol Talent Show from

2-5:30 p.m., and a show from 6-9 p.m. Recognition posters, which honor local volunteers, would hang on the walls of the venue.

“It could be such a wonderful, feel-good event,” he said, adding that he hopes to replicate the event across the country.

The crew plans to raise money and then submit a grant to Rotary’s local district and international headquarters, in an attempt to garner matching funds.

“I’m supportive of Rotary seeing what we can do about the matching grants,” said Sandy Mortensen, a past president of the Rotary Club of Summit County.

Tomlyn and Zurbriggen are actively seeking volunteers, particularly talent scouts, choreographers, silent auction and art show organizers, sponsors and others to help the cause.

“The nonprofits who participate will get the most out of it,” Zurbriggen said.

“This is a call to action for people who resonate with our vision,” Tomlyn said. “We need proactive people who would love to turn this into a reality.”

So far, Sandy Greenhut, chairperson of Arts for the Summit, which represents more than 20 nonprofit Summit County arts organizations, has not agreed to participate, until she consults her board next week. She also has some reservations about how the event is being planned so quickly, without proper feedback from key players. Meanwhile, some people are jumping on board.

“The old (fundraising) ideas are getting old,” Mortensen said. “This is so entirely different that it brings all those nonprofits together.”

Tomlyn has been in the recording industry in Los Angeles and New York for 30 years, working with such artists as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Toto, Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire. Zurbriggen is a 22-year Summit County local who has acted as Frisco’s mayor (2004-2008), Summit County’s chamber and Rotary presidents, a town council member and more.

Tomlyn already has written the event’s finale song, which is meant to involve everyone in the show and begins: “Two miles high, we can almost touch the sky; we’re lovin’ life, in our mountain paradise.”


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