Stella Gives Back Concert Raises $30,000 for Grand County Search and Rescue

Grand County Search and Rescue in action.
Grand County Search and Rescue/Courtesy Photo

It was raining lightly at the Rendezvous Event Center on Saturday, August 13 during the fundraiser for Grand County Search and Rescue, Stella Gives Back, but the music was fantastic. Tara Rose, Andy Sydow Band and Slopeside allowed listeners to skip along with the beat or sit out of the rain and listen to the sounds.

Who cares about the rain? Grand County Search and Rescue takes care of rain, snow, tough undergrowth and more when on a rescue mission. But they continue on the right path until they find their goal, as happened in the story of the Stella Gives Back concert.

You’ve probably heard this incredible story – the unexpected storm that dropped nearly a foot of snow on two brothers on their annual backpacking trip last September, the cry for help that these experienced travelers from the backcountry never thought they’d have to do, and the unconditional response from Grand County Search and Rescue.

But the brothers’ frightened dog, Stella, ran away. After hours of calls, they had to seek security without her. Search and Rescue members have rallied after five harrowing days to turn back the clock and, in a never-before-seen mission, give their ultimate and search for Stella. Against all hope, they found her and reunited the dog with the brothers. It was a testament to the team’s dedication, sacrifice, tenacity and perseverance and the brothers found a way to give back through the group they were both part of.

Since 1985, the non-profit organization Grand County Search and Rescue has served Grand County to provide backcountry search and rescue services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by all the temperature. Everyone is a volunteer and relies on outside support for their needs – technical rescue equipment, motorized transport vehicles, medical equipment, trucks and extensive training. Search and Rescue never charges for their services.

“Your support goes to technical equipment such as ropes and pulleys, carabiners, harnesses, the acquisition and maintenance of essential transportation equipment such as snowmobiles and ATVs, survival equipment and supplies,” says Liz Agostin, a member of search and rescue. “Maintenance and replacement of these items is ongoing so the team can provide safe and reliable service. Some of the team’s greatest medium-term needs include the ability to provide psychological care to our volunteers after critical or traumatic incidents; replace the 25-year-old mobile command vehicle, which is no longer viable and caught fire during its last mission; and the completion of the 35-foot-tall Paul Robertson Rescue Tower, which provides training in technical vertical rescue skills.

Search and Rescue conducted 60 backcountry rescue missions in 2021. As of August 2022, they conducted 35 rescue missions. In one week last month, they completed eight assignments totaling more than 400 volunteer hours. To enable this kind of performance, the team has contributed over 10,000 volunteer hours to training, mission time, maintenance, public outreach and administration over the past year.

Despite the bad weather, people came to Stella Gives Back to show their appreciation. Members of the Grand County Search and Rescue team expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the generous sponsors and everyone who purchased tickets, beverages and silent auction items or made an online donation. . They were able to raise almost money to complete the new mobile command vehicle.

Anyone still wishing to show their support can do so anytime at GCSAR once again thanks everyone who helped in any way.

Brandon D. James