For over 30 years, Wild West Day has been a fall highlight for local children and families who look forward to spending a crisp fall day at 4 Eagle Ranch enjoying games, food, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, crafts and more.
For three years running, the event had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year, the Education Foundation of Eagle County, alongside numerous volunteers from the county’s nine public preschools through elementary schools, is back in full force.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, the 32nd Wild West Day will kick off at 4 Eagle Ranch with events including raffle ticket sales, a silent auction and more.
“Before COVID-19, Wild West Day raised $200,000 annually, providing much-needed funding split equally between our public elementary schools. Despite losing three years of momentum due to the event’s cancellation because of Covid, we hope to gain back the traction, camaraderie and fundraising benefits of Wild West Day this year,” said Tessa Kirchner, vice president of the Education Foundation of Eagle County.
The Education Foundation of Eagle County — formerly known as The Public Education Foundation — created the volunteer-run event to combine efforts to fund all local public elementary school PTA/PTO budgets. Local sponsors, businesses and families are asked to support a single elementary school fundraiser rather than exhausting fundraising resources by each elementary school individually hosting a fall fundraiser.
The success of Wild West Day has allowed the parent-led organizations to enrich the learning experience of thousands of Eagle County School children over the years. PTA/PTOs have provided funding to purchase programming materials, educational assemblies, field trips, school supplies, books, art and music supplies, programs, academic enrichment, author visits as well as funding to teachers for classroom supplies and special projects.
As in past years, local elementary students have been selling raffle tickets, which can be purchased online at HPSrafflewebsite.org.
The raffle drawing will take place at Wild West Day at 4 Eagle Ranch on Sunday. Ticket purchasers will have the chance to win cash, Vail Resorts vacations and Wishes shopping sprees. Purchasers do not need to be present on Sunday to win.
The silent auction includes donations from hundreds of generous local businesses and community members and closes on Sunday, Oct. 2. The public can sign up for an opportunity to bid on gift certificates for local restaurants, lodging accommodations, retail stores, activities, and donated items, including gift baskets, clothing, jewelry, a full Vail Resorts Epic pass, and more.
To register to bid or to donate, go to WildWestDay.org.
Depending on the measure, Colorado ranks 45th to 50th in the nation for funding public education. The money raised at Wild West Day helps teachers and schools to provide programming and positive experiences for Eagle County Schools’ elementary and preschool students. The Education Foundation of Eagle County is committed to supporting public education and students’ intellectual and emotional needs, especially focusing on in-school programs for enrichment, mental health support and efforts to retain top teacher talent. The Education Foundation of Eagle County actively serves the community as its voice for public education.