February is often associated with matters of the heart. Whether your passions fuel romance or you are passionate about a cause, your heart may be a bit fuller this month. If you feel a connection to the environment, education or encouraging youth development, this line-up of activities will pull on your heartstrings.

Feb. 27 Sips for Scholarships Features Craft Beer at El Rancho

The upcoming Bootstraps Sips for Scholarships fundraiser will change things up a bit with unique food and beer pairings at El Rancho restaurant. The event will take place on Sunday, February 27 from 3-5 pm and will offer an enticing menu of pumpkin ravioli, pulled pork sliders and bourbon bread pudding, along with tastings of El Rancho’s craft brews. There will be a short program and a paddle raise to encourage additional donations.

Tickets are $60 per person with proceeds benefiting Bootstraps, Inc., a local nonprofit that helps mountain area graduating high school seniors pursue their educational dreams through scholarships and interest-free loans. In 2021, Bootstraps awarded $223,000 to assist 55 students. For more information and to purchase an event ticket, email Bootstraps Director of Development Nancy Hiester at nancy@bootstrapsinc.org, or call 720.630.9338.

Get Your Tickets to the Environmental Film Fest Feb. 24-March 6

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) is a celebration of the power of film to inspire, educate and motivate audiences to protect and preserve the environment. CEFF’s goal is to present thought-provoking productions to raise awareness of ecological, social and economic themes, to inspire viewers to make a difference in their community, and to promote environmentally responsible choices.

This year’s festival is virtual with several opportunities for online interaction and discussion. While the films will be accessible beginning on Feb 24, they are listed online with full descriptions and sneak peek trailers. Themes include climate, water, wildlife, land use and environmental justice. For more information and tickets, go to ceff2022.eventive.org/films.

To learn more about organizations with ecofriendly missions, visit the CEFF Virtual Eco-Expo Community Showcase. You’ll find information and links to local environmental action groups and environmentally focused nonprofits and businesses. As a complement to the film festival, the organization offers educational materials for school children and families. CEFF is a nonprofit based in Golden, CO. Visit ceff.net.

Mountain Foothills Rotary 
Ice Melt Contest Underway for Charitable Causes

Among the sea of ice fishing shelters on Evergreen Lake is a bright yellow barrel on a white wooden cradle. It’s the official Evergreen Ice Melt Contest barrel placed there by the Mountain Foothills Rotary and Evergreen Park & Recreation District teams.

Individuals can participate in the Ice Melt Contest by purchasing tickets and entering the date and time when they believe the barrel will fall through the ice. First place prize for the most accurate guess is $1,000; second place $500; third place $250; and fourth place $125. Proceeds from ticket sales go to support Evergreen Christian Outreach, the EPRD INSPIRE (Special Needs Program), and charitable causes of the Mountain Foothills Rotary Foundation.

Sponsors for this year’s event include 1st Bank, Elevation Dental, Evergreen Massage, Evergreen Oil Company, Lakepoint Center, Mark Ryan, Inc. Earthscaping, Paving and Plowing, and Sells Law Firm. Supporting the contest as “Barrel Buddies” are El Rancho Brewing Company and The Lariat Lodge Brewing Company who are donating a portion of their beer sales to support the Ice Melt beneficiaries.

Tickets and more contest details are available at EvergreenIceMelt.com.

Evergreen’s Got Talent Contest Returns Bigger and Better for 2022

After being on hiatus during the pandemic, Evergreen’s Got Talent is back on stage and calling for youth talent submissions by March 15. This year’s contest will bring all of the gifted performances and excitement of years past, but with some new twists designed to make the event even more appealing.

The performance venue for the April 23 talent showcase from 6-9 pm is Center for the Arts Evergreen. As in the past, contestants will have the chance to be declared first-, second- and third-place winners by popular “vote” based on the amount of money donated by onsite and virtual audience members. Proceeds will benefit Resilience1220, a nonprofit which provides free counseling services to youth ages 12-20 to help them cope with crisis situations and the day-to-day emotional and mental challenges they face.

New this year, there will also be a juried vote by a panel of judges who will select the top three winners based on their assessment of the performances. The winners of the juried panel’s vote will earn the opportunity to be the opening acts for the 2022 Evergreen Park & Recreation District Summer Concert Series at the Evergreen Lakehouse.

Evergreen’s Got Talent is open to musicians, singers, dancers, actors and comedians 25 years old and younger who are part of the greater Evergreen/Conifer mountain community. For more details, and to register an act, go to evergreensgottalent.com.