Velasco family surviving with help of community |

Velasco family surviving with help of community

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Trying to regain normalcy after a tragedy is always a challenging thing.

For a Breckenridge family, this is the stage they are crossing after their father and husband, Manny Velasco, died in a motorcycle accident.

It has been just a little over four months since the accident on Colorado 9 near Farmer’s Korner claimed 34-year-old Velasco, the well-known president of Breckenridge Mechanical.

His wife, Terri, and three children, 14-year old Alexandra, 8-year-old Jessica and 7-year-old Andrew, have spent four months coping with the accident.

“I, as well as the kids, am dealing with it as best as I know how to,” Terri Velasco said. “Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop. So you get up and do daily things. With the kids in school now, we’ve gotten into more of a routine.”

Fortunately, though, the family has the support of the community.

Two separate fundraisers were held last month to benefit the family.

The first, a fundraiser at Frisco Peninsula, raised more than $19,000 in the silent auction alone for the family to use for everyday life.

The second, a golf outing at Copper Mountain Golf Course, put $11,270 in a college fund for the three children. Both fundraisers are planned to be yearly events.

“I was running numbers on what we could make on golf alone and was expecting seven to eight thousand,” Dan Reisdorph said, the organizer for the golf outing. “So many people just donated without golf, so I was more than pleased.”

For Terri Velasco, the results were overwhelming.

Holding back tears on the phone, she tried to put into words how much the generosity of the community has meant to her and just how much it will help.

“I don’t know if the people who have helped us honestly can understand,” she said. “Just the way they helped us was enormous. I can’t describe it … What they did was a lot, and ‘thank-you’ is just not enough.”

The money has not yet been put to use but will go towards general support for the family, including helping them keep their home in Summit County, Terri Velasco said.

For now, she has updated her resume but has not been able to begin searching for a job because the family’s chihuahua recently had puppies.

Terri Velasco has had to tube-feed the puppies because the mother is not producing enough calcium, and every time she nurses her puppies, she has seizures. Once she is done being a caretaker, she plans on beginning the job search. With this unexpected delay in finding a job, the community’s support means that much more to her.

“This is helping us get past the hardest time, through the holidays,” she said. “That’s hard enough without Manny, but then having to worry about finances … They helped us with that, and so they also helped me. I’m not on my feet yet, but I will be eventually, so they helped me do that.”

Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653.

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