Denver-based nonprofit HopeKids teams up with local Estes Park businesses to host 67 families for the ultimate winter getaway.
A story that is sure to warm hearts this winter, a group of local businesses in Estes Park, teamed up to host children with life-threatening illnesses and their families for a few days of fun in the mountains. The Denver-based chapter of HopeKids serves families by providing an ongoing calendar of engaging events throughout the year, and they chose Estes Park for their most recent adventure.
HopeKids families spent time enjoying a wintry Rocky Mountain getaway with sledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing and catching a movie. Not only do these events get HopeKids and their families out with something to do, but it also helps them build a community and support system with others who are going through the same challenges.
“Just to be with other families who have experienced some of the things we have is a real gift. It’s not something that we’ve been able to tap into in our own communities,” says Halee Savery, mother of a HopeKids family who attended the Estes Park getaway this January. “You’re getting to meet families outside of the hospital, and you’re getting to do things that are life-giving. Siblings get to meet other siblings. It becomes kind of normal, an opportunity to connect, and that’s just really special.”
The connection between HopeKids and Estes Park began in 2017 thanks to Pat Murphy, owner of Murphy’s River Lodge and Murphy’s Resort and member of the Visit Estes Park board of directors. "We love the work that HopeKids does for families and it is an honor and a privilege to host them at our properties,” says Murphy, who found out about the organization through a friend and felt called to help. “Estes Park is a special place and these families always have a great time while they're in town.”
Murphy reached out to Lisa Sweeney, program director for HopeKids and offered hotel rooms to the nonprofit and more businesses joined in on the effort including the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Mountain Shop, Reel Mountain Theatre, Trout Haven Resort and Smokin’ Daves. “It all started with Pat and his generous heart,” says Sweeney. “Everyone I’ve reached out to has been so generous and giving. We need to thank Estes for embracing us.”
If you’d like to support HopeKids now or during future Estes Park trips, they’re always looking for volunteers to support the program of events as well as financial and in-kind support. Check out http://hopekids.org/get-involved.