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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
– Henry David Thoreau  
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 10 October 2017  

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  On the Street in Black Forest
  By Breeanna Jent

   On a warm and breezy Tuesday afternoon, The New Falcon Herald spotted resident Dan Pyhtila, age 70, enjoying a meal with his longtime friend, Chuck George, at Descar’s Roadside Bar and Grill. Enjoying the relative quiet of the restaurant’s bar area, Pyhtila shared bits and pieces of his full life.
   
   An Air Force veteran with an extensive 56-year background in judo –- including working as a judo coach at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs –- he also has a background in security and security management.
   
   Pyhtila, who has been a resident of Black Forest since 1984, talked about his reasons for moving to Black Forest, what his ideal weekend looks like, his favorite superpower — and more.
   
   NFH: What brought you to Black Forest?
   
   Pyhtila: When I left the Olympic Training Center, my wife was working for a realty place here.We loved Black Forest, so we moved here.
   
   NFH: What is your favorite spot in Black Forest?
   
   Pyhtila: All of it; I like the country. I like trees. I was raised in a small area. I don’t like the city, and I’ve had to deal with it a lot in my career. It’s a pleasure to be in the woods.
   
   NFH: What is your favorite thing about Black Forest?
   
   Pyhtila: The woods, freedom and nature; I raise animals, and I was able to raise my kids (four kids) out of the city. They’re all in their 30s now, and they’re very happy to have been raised here.
   
   NFH: What is your favorite thing about spring?
   
   Pyhtila: It’s nice to see the plant life. There’s also more activity amongst the wild animals we have out here, like deer, foxes, coyotes and sometimes bears, during berry season.
   
   NFH: What is your ideal weekend?
   
   Pyhtila: Staying in the country; if we go someplace for the weekend, we like to go somewhere that’s small. We like to see what America used to be.
   
   NFH: What is your favorite movie?
   
   Pyhtila: That’s a hard one. I have many. Really, anything having to do with history or where I can get a little bit of learning involved while I’m watching –- not just acting and theatrics and unbelievable scenes that don’t happen in real life.
   
   NFH: What was your best subject in school?
   
   Pyhtila: Well, when I was in high school, it was history and philosophy. When I got to college, it was linguistics and also the histories of different people. I’ve been to Finland a few times and I’ve studied a number of different languages. And from judo, I’ve learned a lot from being involved in that industry, including different philosophies. It’s a multi-faceted answer.
   
   NFH: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
   
   Pyhtila: The ability to take life as it comes.
   
   NFH: If you could learn to do anything at all, what would it be?
   
   Pyhtila: You don’t have enough paper for that! I say that because we’re all ignorant in many ways. I’d definitely keep learning about languages, different cultures and different philosophies.
  
Dan Pyhtila (left) with his longtime friend, Chuck George; the two have “known each other for many, many decades,” Pyhtila said. They met when both were working at the Olympic Training Center. Photo by Breeanna Jent
 
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  Black Forest EOF awards record number of scholarships
  By Breeanna Jent

   The Educational Opportunity Foundation of the Black Forest awarded 10 area high school students with scholarships during its annual awards banquet April 20 at La Foret Conference and Recreation Center in Black Forest, Colorado.
   
   Nancy Billiard, EOF secretary, said this year, 10 scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each –- $15,000 total –- were awarded to 10 area students. It was the largest number of students the organization has awarded at once in its history, said Rich Nesmith, EOF president.
   
   Founded 52 years ago in 1965, EOF has awarded at least one scholarship to a local student looking to further his/her education every year. The first, awarded in 1965, was “a $50 scholarship awarded to a young lady heading to beauty school,” Nesmith said.
   
   “For the last eight years, we’ve given nine scholarships,” said Nesmith, as he talked about the organization’s history. “But this year, thanks to some incredibly generous donations and some new donors, we were able to award a 10th scholarship.”
   
   Nesmith thanked one Black Forest resident in particular: Brian Descar, owner of Descar’s Roadside Bar and Grill on Shoup Road. Earlier in April, Descar shaved his head bald (it hadn’t been cut since 2009), and donated his locks to Wigs for Kids, along with $2,500 to the EOF, according to a Colorado Fox 21 News report citing Kayln McMackin’s April 15 article, “Black Forest man donates hair after 8 years of no haircut.”
   
   “This organization is a community of people and businesses who are looking out for our youngest citizens,” Nesmith said.
   
   “This (opportunity) is because of the people of our community,” Billiard said. “That’s how this started and that’s how it should be.”
   
   Since its inception, EOF has awarded scholarships to more than 200 “students attending community and four-year colleges, vocation/trade schools and (other) academic endeavors,” according to its website.
   
   The banquet followed music provided by #7 Combo with Extra Sauce (scholarship recipient Patrick Marchbank played drums); Latigo Catering provided the food for the event. Guests listened to a presentation by Tom Tudor, who spoke at the event for the third time in EOF’s history.
   
   Tudor served as a sentinel and then a relief commander at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., from February 1969 to Memorial Day 1970.
   
   While describing the challenges and the rewards of serving as a sentinel, Tudor offered words of encouragement to the students in the room: “This is important for those of you receiving these scholarships: Don’t be afraid to take a step. Don’t be afraid to take a small chance. You might do something great.”
   
   Katelynn Kroeker, a senior at Falcon High School, was one of this year’s scholarship recipients. Kroeker will be attending Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she plans to major in veterinarian medicine. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and work with Zoobiquity, an international organization that explores the commonalities between humans and animals and attempts to diagnose, treat and heal patients of all species.
   
   This year’s other scholarship recipients were Anna Borden, Aubrey Dyer, Katelynn Hughes, Devon Kroeker (no relation), Valerie Lonsky, Patrick Marchbank, Grace Murphy, Laura Still and Tiffany Whiting.
   
   Nesmith said, “What (Tudor) talked about was the pursuit of perfection. I think that’s something very important to hear for our young people who are pursuing their education. I hope that inspires you.”
   
   This year’s donors included The Black Forest Jeweler; Black Forest Community Club; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Theesfeld; Rockin’ B Feed and Supply; Fred Russell; Minor and Robby Dale Nelson; Descar’s Roadside Bar and Grill; The Shamrock Foundation; The Gregory R. Davis Memorial Foundation; Janet and Michael Fortner; and banquet sponsors Ent Federal Credit Union and La Foret Conference and Recreation Center.
   
   For more information on the Educational Opportunity Foundation of the Black Forest, visit the website at http://eofblackforest.org.
  
(From left to right) Scholarship recipients Aubrey Dyer, Valerie Lonsky and Falcon High School senior Katelynn Kroeker pose together following the conclusion of the Educational Opportunity Foundation of Black Forest’s annual scholarship awards banquet in April at La Foret Conference and Recreation Center in Black Forest. Photo by Breeanna Jent
 
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  Black Forest riding club helps fund skills course
  By Breeanna Jent

   The Kit Carson Riding Club hosted a gymkhana April 23 to benefit the Equestrian Skills Course being built in Bear Creek Park in Colorado Springs. The course is the only one of its kind, and there is no charge. Each course training obstacle will have a beginner, intermediate and advance level.
   
   The Equestrian Skills Course held its grand opening May 6 at 11 a.m., where additional plans for the course were presented.
  
Rob Richgauer tries out the new Equestrian Skills Course at Bear Creek Park in Colorado Springs. Photo submitted
 
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  Black Forest AARP: Health and inspiration
  Submitted by Stanley Beckner

   The large assembly of AARP Chapter 1100 members and guests were inspired by an informative April meeting in Black Forest.  As usual, the meeting started off with a delicious potluck lunch.
            
   Afterward, the chapter recognized Linda Siebe for her exceptional service in the community over the past year. Patricia Dix, chapter vice president, presented the letter of congratulations, signed in Washington DC by the AARP chief executive officer, Jo Ann Jenkins. The letter cited the ways in which Linda’s efforts have made the community a better place to live. Additionally, she received a certificate of authentication and a distinctive lapel pin.
            
   Lori Morgan, MS, and a paramedic from the Colorado Springs UC Health organization, was the feature speaker for the meeting. Lori, a trauma outreach and injury prevention specialist, presented a program on how to prevent falls; outlining things seniors can, and should, do to increase their strength and balance and reduce their chances of falling. She emphasized that “falling” is not predetermined among seniors. To illustrate, Lori led everyone through easy standing and sitting exercises that will help avoid age-related instability, which can lead to falls. She showed the group the correct way to walk, especially in snow or on ice, to reduce the chances of slipping and falling. She also discussed several local resources that provide available strength and balance classes. Lori fielded questions from the audience and then handed out several useful items, including a Senior Home Safety Checklist.  Those interested in learning more about her classes can reach Lori Morgan at 719-365-2872.
   
   Next, Rich Crawford presented information on the plan for the Black Forest 4.77-acre park. Rich described the work currently in process, the projects for the next scheduled workday and the established three-year plan to make the park a reality. He also called for volunteers. Adults of all ages are needed, and those interested can contact Rich at 719-495-4468.
   
   To top the day off, the ladies who wore funny “Easter Bonnets” were brought to the front of the room. The group voted for the best bonnet, and winner Bev Schaab received a free pie donated by the Village Inn.
   
   During the business meeting, Pat Dix reminded everyone of the need for volunteers for the June 10 free shredding event and the Senior Expo June 24.  She also announced that the May 10 chapter meeting will feature a program on energy conservation by Mountain View Electric.
   
   For more information on the activities of the Black Forest AARP Chapter, call Pat at 719-481-5347 or check out the chapter web site at http://aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com
  
(From left to right) Linda Rozak, Beverly Schaab, Electa Beckner, Anna Skinner and Pat Dix wore their favorite Easter bonnet hats to the AARP meeting, and competed for the “best hat.” Bev Scaab was the winner. Photo submitted
 
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  Local volunteer honored

   Linda Siebe has been selected for the 2017 AARP Chapter & REA Unit Community Service Award. Eric J Schneidewind, AARP volunteer president, and Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP chief executive officer, presented the award, which recognizes Linda for her service. which has enriched the lives of friends and neighbors and made her community a better place to live. The coveted award was accompanied by a letter of congratulations, a certificate announcing the award, and a distinctive lapel pin.
              
   Linda has been a member of Chapter 1100 in Black Forest for more than three years, and is currently a member of the board and has served numerous times as a host and greeter at Chapter 1100 meetings — and has recruited chapter members.           
   
   Other activities Linda is involved with include staffing AARP information booths and doing chapter presentations throughout the community. She also drives individuals with transportation needs, and last year established a committee of AARP chapter member who drive others as well.
               
   Linda has always been the best example of a good neighbor and is well deserving of this recognition.
  
Patricia Dix, AARP Chapter 1100 vice president (left), presents the 2017 AARP Chapter and REA Unit Community Service Award to Linda Siebe at a recent Black Forest meeting. Photo submitted
 
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  FREE shredding opportunity

   The Black Forest AARP Chapter, in conjunction with ElderWatch Colorado and the Black Forest Lutheran Church, will provide a FREE opportunity for citizens to safely destroy personal documents on Saturday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Black Forest Lutheran Church at 12455 Black Forest Road. A professional shredding company will shred the documents on site. All paper documents and cardboard containers will be recycled. Metal ring binders and plastic bags or containers cannot be accepted because they will not recycle. 
        
   Voluntary donations in the form of non-perishable food or cash would be appreciated. All donations will benefit those who utilize the Black Forest Cares food pantry in Black Forest. In the past, this community service event has diminished the chances of persons being a victim of ID theft and scams, while yielding hundreds of pounds of food, and more than $1,000 in donations to a worthwhile charity.
  
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  No fee senior social

   A monthly informal occasion for seniors is the no fee event. They meet in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road in Black Forest.
   
   Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road. The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about “whatever.”  Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.
  
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