High Country Conservation Center’s annual fundraiser Friday | SummitDaily.com

High Country Conservation Center’s annual fundraiser Friday

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Summit Daily file photo/Mark Fox

BRECKENRIDGE – The Summit County community will have a chance to lend its support to conservation Friday night, as High Country Conservation Center holds its Tim McClure Memorial Benefit at the Maggie in Breckenridge.

The annual green get-down is the most important fundraiser of the year for the organization, formerly known as Summit Recycling Project.

“This is our biggest event of the year, and it sustains our programs and our staff,” executive director Jen Santry said. “Beyond that, it’s my favorite event – we have so many locals that come, there’s great music, and it’s a great time to socialize and network within the green movement. It’s really a lot of fun.”

Summit County resident Tim McClure founded Summit Recyling Project in 1976 and spent seven years collecting recyclables and building the community’s conservation ethic. McClure died in an avalanche in 1985, but Breckenridge residents Bob and Rose Wentzell picked up the torch and founded the annual benefit in 1989 to honor McClure’s spirit and ensure that his environmental ideals lived on.

The organization changed its name to High Country Conservation Center in 2006, once Summit County government took over recycling operations and the organization expanded its mission to include a broad range of resource-conservation issues.

Today, the Conservation Center conducts public education and outreach on recycling, composting, energy conservation, efficient building and sustainable living.

Santry said her team is aiming to raise $20,000 at Friday’s event. The evening will include an Italian dinner buffet, a performance by Mountain Gypsy Tribe Bellydancers, live bluegrass music by Coral Creek and a large silent auction featuring an array of green products.

The event itself will be “zero-waste,” meaning that it will generate no trash.

“We met ahead of time with the staff of the Maggie. They’re really into it from behind-the-scenes to the front, making sure everything is recyclable, compostable or reusable,” Santry said. “There’s no plastic wrapping or Styrofoam, and we’re using beer glasses instead of plastic cups. Having the right materials and enthusiastic people is what it takes to make it work.”

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or jsutor@summitdaily.com.

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