In 1999 my husband and I decided to leave our careers in Des Moines, Iowa and move to the mountains. Our goals were to expose our two young boys to a more active lifestyle and to move to a place where they could grow up in a small community. We had both grown up in small farm towns in Nebraska. Rick grew up in a town of about 1,000 and I was raised in a nearby town of 300. I had 16 in my graduating class.
Summit County has helped us to accomplish our goals. We live in Silverthorne that has a permanent population of about 4,400 and the entire county as a whole has a permanent population of around 29,000. While this greatly surpasses the small towns that my husband and I lived in, Summit County measures up to everything a small community offers.
While we boast 6 elementary schools, our children come together into one middle school and one high school. Class sizes range just over 200 students. As my sons put it, they know everyone in their school – even if they aren’t best friends.
The closeness of a community can truly be felt in great moments and in sad moments. Come to the high school for any home football game in the fall and see what “community” is all about. It feels as if the entire county joins in to cheer for the Tigers.
And, when we have weeks like last week, you see the true meaning of “community”. Summit County lost 3 citizens last week. And for the 3rd time in less than 8 months, our high school students lost one of their own.
Our home was directly impacted by the loss of the young man, Tristan White. Tristan was a senior in high school who was truly loved by all who new him. My oldest son shared percussion duties with him in band for 4 years and our youngest son enjoyed sailing with Tristan on Lake Dillon. Tristan had big plans for his immediate future – and heaven will forever be a more beautiful place with the music that Tristan creates. I will forever be amazed at how this place we call “home” reaches out to those in need. The high school, the teachers, and the staff were there every touch-and-go moment while our children awaited word on Tristan’s condition and they provided support to the family during this difficult time.
My heart breaks for Tristan’s family and for the families of the 2 women who passed away all too soon last week. But I hope that they will be comforted by the fact that their loved one’s lives impacted so many and they were loved by so many. And I am continually impressed with my community, my neighbors, my friends…..how they come to the aid of all of those in need. Thank you Summit County!