Help End Water Poverty with The Colorado 54

 

Growing up in Michigan, a beautiful place surrounded by (what seems to be) an endless supply of water, it’s easy to take for granted how incredible of a resource the Great Lakes truly are. When I was much younger, I didn’t really understand why my parents were constantly reminding my siblings and I to conserve water; it was everywhere, wasn’t it? It’s not like it would run out! Silly parents. What I didn’t understand at that time was how precious clean, accessible water is for a healthy, sustainable living.

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Beautiful Lake Michigan. Photo Credit: Jackie Balcom, July 2013.

In such a prosperous, developed nation-state as the United States, it’s hard to think about water as a limited resource; it’s difficult to wrap our heads around the fact that, worldwide, 783 million people are in Water Poverty, meaning their closest source of water is far away, or possibly unsanitary/unclean, or just not affordable.

According to National Geographic, Americans spent $21.7 billion on bottled water in 2011, finding it convenient, appealing, and healthy (click Nat Geo link for article). Honestly, I’m not including this information to shame people into not buying bottled water, but instead to bring to light an incredibly prevalent issue:

There are individuals in the world who do not know when they will have their next drink of clean water.

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Women carrying water in Central America – photo is courtesy of National Geographic, accessed June 2014. Click through for provided image.

Late last month, Denverspeax was contacted by a group with not only big hearts, but an amazing plan: The Colorado 54. Organized teams of 500+ men and women will ascend 54 total 14er’s (14,000 vertical foot mountain) simultaneously throughout Colorado in an effort to end water poverty for 1000+ families in Nicaragua.

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Click on the logo to visit The Colorado 54 Official site! Photo Credit: The Colorado 54, June 2014.

 

While the actual hiking event takes place on August 2nd, 2014, registration is required ahead of time for a cost of $50, which guarantees the arrival of each participant’s welcome kit, including a Colorado 54 athletic shirt, stickers, and snacks from Colorado 54’s sponsors. Each participant can join or start their own campaign team to raise $500, which is the cost for a permanent, clean you hike two familieswater solution for two families in Nicaragua.

Register fast as the limit is set to 540 participants!

To find out more regarding the actual event day including awards, how individuals will be tracked, etc., please check out The Colorado 54 Official site.

Nervous about campaigning? Don’t be – they’ve made it easy to get donations from friends, family, and coworkers. Sponsors donate directly to your customized campaign page and receive an email confirmation with their tax deductible receipt.

 

Even though the hiking event is taking place in August, register and participate now to be a part of interviews and exclusive give-aways!

This is an incredible opportunity to not only unite as a Colorado community, but also to help end a serious issue. What I think is amazing is that both can be done by banding together and hiking – definitely something Coloradans are known for! Why not hike for a cause? Why not make a difference in others’ lives with this special 14er on August 2nd? Think about it – what an extraordinary feat we can all accomplish together.  

 

Special thanks to Kayleen Cohen for getting in touch with us regarding this event; we appreciate all information and pictures you all have provided, and look forward to spreading the word regarding this awesome event moving forward!

 

 

 

 

DenverSpeax – A Reminder

 

 

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The power of reminder can be very interesting and thought-provoking, to the point of near meditation:

A song comes on the radio, and you’re instantly placed into a time previous of extreme joy, or maybe content, or possibly sadness.

You head west out of Denver to visit the Rockies, and you’re reminded of your first trip to Loveland Pass, or your first drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel.

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View from Arapahoe Basin – Click on the photo to see more beautiful pictures in this area.

These places serve as reminder for us as to why we moved here, and why we started DenverSpeax. It’s important to reflect, and have our reflection over the past (almost) year rejuvenate our spirits and provoke motivation. I thought it would be good to pass this along to you all who have supported us.
The Story:
When we moved here, we had a few friends from back home, but they were fairly new as well. It was difficult to find places to go or see because we didn’t know what we were looking for, per se – try using Yelp to find a restaurant when you’re in the mood for a certain atmosphere, or when you’re trying to make friends – is there a filter for those? Although we believe Yelp is a great application and very helpful, sometimes a star-rating just doesn’t cut it. Sure, there’s another great site called TripAdvisor – we use it when we are traveling…but we weren’t traveling any longer. We weren’t looking for advertised Bed & Breakfasts and their ratings – we were looking to call a place home.

 

The best way to learn and begin to understand a community is by fully emerging yourself. This is what we’ve learned in our various travels domestically and internationally, as well as with this move to Denver. Out of boredom, and lack of known resources within the Denver community & beyond, DenverSpeax was born.

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City Park hosts City Park Jazz for many Sundays each summer. Click on the picture to read more!

We roam around Denver and the surrounding areas looking for what’s good in the community. The good comes in all shapes, sizes, and experiences. We support small, local businesses when we eat out, and prefer to stay local with our purchases as well. Luckily, there are so many festivals, parks, food and beverage, volunteering, and natural beauty here that we’ll never run out of things to write about.

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Walking around on the 16th Street mall can be a ton of fun. Click on the picture to check out more!

DenverSpeax exists to promote positivity within the community, helping out natives and transplants alike with what to do, where to go, and how to experience all of the good that’s so aplenty here. Know someone who’s moving to Denver? Show ’em our website. Ran out of things to do and experience? Look through the site! Planning a trip to Denver and want the real feel of our diverse community? Well, we have a website for that!

Thank you for your endless support. We are devoted to continue to bring you the low down on what’s good in Denver. A few things we’re looking at tackling next:

  • Volunteering – how can we give back to the community we love so much? There are so many ways – we just need to DO IT.
  • Collaboration with other Colorado start-ups that need support with getting noticed in the community.
  • Visiting Bed & Breakfasts local to Denver so that we can provide our visitors with features on great places to stay.

How you can help: Come with us! Or, let us know…

What other features would you like to see on the website?

What is local and positive that you just can’t live without?

For more on what’s good in Denver, follow us in real-time on Facebook, Instagram (@denverspeax), or Twitter (@denverspeax).

 

 

 

 

OneSpark – Day 1 & 2

We’re having a blast here in Jacksonville, Florida, promoting our CitySpeax expansion project. If you haven’t visited our project on OneSpark and registered to vote for #20643, please do! Your vote helps us get NOTICED and, hopefully, funded. 

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Steve manning the booth at OneSpark! This was before our banner was created / hung as well as our signs created. Watch out our booth evolves over the next few days – we’re learning new things each day!

 

At OneSpark, we hope to expand the “speax” branded websites to CitySpeax, one brand that supports all of the “speak” city websites promoting small business through features, recognition, offering of small business solutions including advertising, social media, and consultation.

With the CitySpeax brand, we  can support small businesses and strengthen communities as we have through our separate websites for Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Denver

Check out our project, Creator #20643, here, and vote for us!

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Hemming Plaza in Jacksonville, FL – check out the traffic around all of the cool Creators. You can see all of the projects by clicking on tho photo and visiting OneSpark.com. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Apr 2014

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Beautiful Sunset at the end of Day 1 at OneSpark. Click on the photo to check out project and vote for us! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, April 2014.

 

Instameet for Colorado Instagram – Saturday, Mar 15th, 2014

Did you know that Colorado has its own Instagram Community? Yep, totally does! Colorado Instagram is strengthening our community by organizing cool and fun meet ups for anyone and everyone to participate in – totally free.

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Click on the photo to check out Colorado Instagram on Facebook. Credit: Colorado Instagram, Mar 2014.

For those of you who can’t get enough of Colorado, photography, art, or meeting people that have those plus many additional interests, you should really check out the next Instameet: an event where everyone gets together, takes photos around a given area, and shares them. Usually there is a theme, or style of photography to inspire those creative minds.

The next Instameet for Colorado Instagram will be held Saturday, March 15th, 2014 – everyone is to meet up at New Belgium in Fort Collins at 11:30 am. The theme will be portraits. I, Kirsten, see some fun makeup in my future for this Instameet… Also, as Denverspeax has never been to Fort Collins before, we’ll be killing two birds with one stone! Any suggestions of places to stop by? Give us a holler in the comments section.

You can check them out on Instagram or Facebook to get up to speed on all of the details, and their first Instameet. Make sure you tag your pics on Instagram with #focoinstameet – follow them on various social media, and pass along the good word about this cool new community!

The Oriental Opry – From Coffeehouse to The Big House

Genuine. Organic.  Vintage. Authentic.

These are just a few words that hit the nail on the head when discussing the Oriental Opry, an event held at The Oriental Theater the second Tuesday of each month. Two Sundays ago, I met with Jane Manly and Joe Kellogg, the master-minds behind this great event that aims to strengthen the community through musicianship. After witnessing two captivating Oprys, I had to get the behind-the-scenes-scoop!

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Jane Manly and Joe Kellogg, organizers of The Oriental Opry. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

So how did The Opry start? The event actually stems from weekly jam sessions out of musician and friend, Rick Franz’s, garage. Jam sessions grouped with (Jane Manly and her friend, Vince Leclair’s,) suggestion of the band Dirt Simple taking the big stage at the Oriental Theater, and BOOM! The Oriental Opry was born last June 2013.

A variety show, The Oriental Opry aims to provide a variety of acts, currently consisting mostly of folk, blue grass, jazz and blues music. Coming up, Jane, the producer and organizer, is working on integrating other community acts, including magic and performances by kids in the community.

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Shots from the first Oriental Opry that DenverSpeax attended in January 2014 – we were instantly hooked! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

What makes The Oriental Opry so unique and special is that it’s “all about putting local musicians on the stage to create community; it’s about bringing people together”, Joe said best. Musicians reinforce this sense of community and camaraderie  by collaborating with each other on stage- many times without sheet music, simply supporting their fellow musicians. The musicians, Jane, and Joe rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertising for the Oriental Opry each month. No one participates in this event for the money – performers trust Jane’s producing skills and Joe as the MC, while musicians and viewers alike understand the mission behind The Oriental Opry.

Jane and Joe have created a supportive environment allowing musicians an opportunity to make the move from playing at the coffee house to performing in the big house. “The Oriental Opry allows musicians that are isolated to come together and collaborate”, explained the two, continuously stressing the importance of the community the event creates. Additionally, they described the amazing support they receive for the event from Oriental Theater owners Scott LaBarbera and Andy Bercaw. Lots of love toward them as well as Lara Moore for all of their assistance and belief in this fantastic event.

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Jeffrey Dallet and band at the February 12th, 2014 Oriental Opry event. See more photos by clicking on pic and visiting our Facebook page! Credit: Steve Mercer, Feb 2014.

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Nearly There jamming at the Opry! Credit: Steve Mercer, Feb 2014

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Come check out the talented musicians at the Oriental Opry – check them out by clicking on the pic above to be brought to their Facebook page. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

Once you experience this show, it will be easy to understand and feel a necessity to share in the mission; it’s not just another event – it’s a great time with some of the most talented musicians DenverSpeax has ever heard. They have a knack for entertainment, allowing you to forget to check the time on your watch and how many likes you got on your Facebook selfie that evening. The sounds are creative and captivating, all while giving you a sense of inclusion into The Opry’s community.

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Check out The Oriental Opry every 2nd Tuesday of every month at The Oriental Theater. March 11th, 2014, is the next Oriental Opry – don’t miss it!

For information on playing in the Oriental Opry, please contact Jane Manly for additional information via the Oriental Opry’s Facebook Page.

Denver Mile High Holidays – LIGHTS, LIGHTS, and MORE LIGHTS!

Halloween’s over, which means the holidays are upon us. I know, I know – I’m early… don’t rush it. Whatever. I love the holiday season! They provide some of the best times of the year. There’s nothing like gathering with friends and family to celebrate new beginnings and holiday cheer.

To get in the spirit, I’ve scoped out the festive events of Denver Mile High Holidays. Man, does Denver love LIGHTS! Here are a few events where you can go scope out the spectacular lights this season:

Downtown Denver Grand Illumination – Nov 29 – Dec 31, 2013

On November 29th at 6 pm, Denver’s Grand Illumination event kicks off, lighting up downtown from Union Station to the City and County Building. Lights will be available and displayed nightly until the end of December. The initial lighting event on November 29th is a free event, and a great way to see this beautiful city aglow with the holiday spirit. This is a free, all ages event.

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Photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens – if this doesn’t look magical, there’s something wrong with you.

Blossoms of Light – Nov 29 – Jan 1, 2014

Need even MORE lights to get you in the spirit? No problem – check out the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light. Beginning Nov 29th, over one-million lights will colorfully drape the gardens, in addition to synchronized lights dancing along with favorite holiday tunes. Hot drinks and snacks will be available at this all ages event. Ticketing prices are as follows:

Non-Peak Admission Nov. 29 – Dec. 12:
$10 Adults
$8 Adult Member, Student, Senior (65+), Military
$7 Child (ages 3-12)
$5 Child Member
Free for children 2 and younger
Group of 15 or more: $8 Adults, $5 Children

Peak Admission Dec. 13 – Jan. 1:
$12 Adults
$10 Adult Member, Student, Senior (65+), Military
$9 Child (ages 3-12)
$7 Child Member
Free for children 2 and younger
Group of 15 or more: $10 Adults, $7 Children

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Picture courtesy of Westword’s blog. What an amazing view of the lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Make sure to check out these, and other, amazing holiday events. Denverspeax will make sure to continue to bring you the low down on what’s good this holiday season.

Check back for more cool events brought to you by your favorite city.

Denver Broncos – Orange Ride 2013 – Bikes & Football

Late last night, my friend Michael told me of this glorious event occurring this Sunday, October 27th – The Orange Ride! It can’t be true… mixing bikes with football?! Yes. Ohhhhh, yes, my friends –

it’s true.

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Click on the picture to get more info on the Denver Broncos Orange Ride happening this Sunday, October 27th, 2013. Credit: Denverbroncos.com, Oct 2013

Not only do I love football, but I also love getting outside and riding my bicycle. We’re so fortunate to live in a city where bike riding is encouraged not only as a means for fitness and transportation, but also for fun! 2013 marks the year for the 4th Annual Orange Ride in which fans are encouraged to wear orange and “ride to the game”.

Like the above flyer states, there are two ways to master the Orange Ride – ride to the game from home, OR meet up with 1000’s of your closest, orange-clad pals at the Denver Pavilions  at 10 am to party and THEN ride at noon.

And, please – don’t forget your orange. You don’t want to be heckled, do you? See you there!

Hang out with Denverspeax on Facebook

The Story Portal – How cool is THAT?

An interactive stage built around the idea of sharing real, true, and raw experience, The Story Portal is trying to raise money for further improving this project, and taking it to the grand stage of Burning Man in August 2013; visit their official website to lend your support. Check out their Facebook Page and see what they’re all about – it’s a very unique and interesting concept of community that I think would be incredible to experience live!

Credit to the StoryPortal’s official site for the video posted here.

https://www.facebook.com/TheStoryPortal
http://thestoryportal.org