Partners expanding in Fruita area

Anthony, a partner with John Caldwell, paints an airplane at the Loma Airport. The two engage in a variety of activities as Mesa County Partners expands into the Fruita area. (Photo courtesy Mesa County Partners)
Anthony, a partner with John Caldwell, paints an airplane at the Loma Airport. The two engage in a variety of activities as Mesa County Partners expands into the Fruita area. (Photo courtesy Mesa County Partners)

As we near the halfway point of 2015, Mesa County Partners would like to update readers on our expansion into the Fruita area.

Consider, for example, the long-standing partnership between John Caldwell and Anthony. They participate in a variety of activities, including Miata rides, exploring the Bookcliffs and playing broomball at Glacier Ice Area, where John is an amazing goalie. They also spend a lot of time at the Loma Airport working on airplanes. John enjoys allowing Anthony to experience new adventures and says he has been made aware of all the different activities available for youth in our area.

Mesa County Partners has used the recreation center in Fruita for the youth on our waiting list. Through state funding, we’ve purchased passes for our participants to have a safe, healthy place to exercise and socialize with their peers. We hope to continue this collaborative effort in the future and appreciate the efforts of the Fruita rec center.

We also have been fortunate to use the Business Incubator Center satellite office in Fruita as a place to hold our quarterly minor in possession classes. These classes cover the effects of marijuana and alcohol in teen-ages. The classes are ordered by the judge who presides over the case of the offending youth.  Upcoming classes are scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. July 8 and 15.  After school resumes, the classes will run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 8, 15 and 22.

In addition to the classes, some courts mandate offending teens perform community services. Mesa County Partners facilitates these hours by supervising youth work crews. Depending on the offense, the courts also could order youth to pay restitution to their victims. Youth on work crews earn an hourly rate paid to victims. These work crews complete jobs in the Fruita area. For example, crews helped clear tamarisk along the Colorado River for the expanded Riverfront Trail. Crews have also cleared ditches before spring irrigation started. You’ll see our crews working in the Fruita area on Sundays.

If you live in the Fruita area and would like to hire a crew for yard work or cleanup, call the Partners office at 245-5555, extension 13, for more information.

These things would not be possible without the support of the City of Fruita and Fruita Rotary Club. In addition, the Redlands Rotary Club has donated a trailer and tools for our crews in Fruita.

Jill Derrieux
Jill Derrieux

Please watch for upcoming events and fund-raisers for Mesa County Partners. We’ve scheduled a 5-kilometer Color Dash on July 25 at Canyonview Park, a Hazel Miller concert at Grande River Vineyards for Aug. 1 and our annual live television auction for Sept. 11 and 12.

With more than 80 youth on our waiting list, we’re always looking for adults willing to commit three hours a week to become a senior partner.