Granby: Road and Bridge Department hosts benefit for one of its own
December 4, 2007
The crew at the Granby Road and Bridge Department are banding together to take care of one of its own. Employees are reaching out to support co-worker Chris Baer and his wife, Rose. The department will host a benefit dinner and auction next week to raise funds to help pay the medical expenses associated with Rose’s fight against lymphatic cancer.
Superintendent Ken Haynes got the idea for the benefit from County Commissioner James Newberry, who will serve as the fundraiser’s master of ceremony.
Newberry pitched the idea to Haynes at a commissioner’s meeting.
Needless to say, Haynes’ staff was more than happy to do what they could for Rose, who helps out as needed at the department and has been battling cancer for eight years.
“Of course, we all wanted to help,” said Micah Benson, office supervisor. “Rose is a great lady. She’s a lot of fun ” very friendly, very outgoing. My hat’s off to her.”
Rose’s husband has been working for the Granby Road and Bridge Department as a foreman for almost 12 years.
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Between their busy lives and trips for treatment, the two just happened by Benson’s office looking for a cookbook (which is also available for purchase to help the cause) while I was there and Mica motioned for them to join us.
Chris was just as ill prepared, as our encounter surfaced many emotions for him and left me regretting the first question that popped into my mind. I had asked him what it felt like to have his coworkers and friends pull together to help his family. It was almost as if time stopped for a moment. Chris paused, brought his hands to his face and basically folded over.
The Kleenex box came out, and Chris and I both lost our composure.
In his gratitude, Chris was speechless at first, but then he wiped his eyes and finally responsed.
“I wouldn’t wish this sort of illness on anybody,” he said, “but if someone could experience the love and support we have … the whole thing, I don’t know how to describe it. You can’t repay everybody who’s been doing everything. There are no words for it.”
Chris said he wanted to send out a special thanks to his friends at Granby Road and Bridge.
He was transferred to Grand County 15 years ago.
“It was meant for us to be here,” he said. “We’ve got a clear picture now, and I truly believe the man upstairs was working for us. This is the reason we were brought to Granby.”
Rose, who is slowly gaining some weight back to begin a more aggressive form of chemotherapy the day before the benefit, said her fight has been a little overwhelming but she remains optimistic.
What helps keep her going is her family, she said, including 12-year-old son, Dillon, and the people at Granby Road and Bridge who have become part of her extended family.
“I can’t let it take over my life,” she said.
“She’s such a fighter, such a survivor,” Benson said. “That’s the part I can’t believe is how positive she’s been throughout all of it. You never hear her complain. She’d do anything for anybody and loves her family. We wanted them to know that we all wish them the best.”
The public is invited to the event, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 14, and includes a complimentary dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. and served throughout the evening.
Fueled by Rose’s courage and friendships, it is made possible by many donations from individuals and businesses from Grand County and the Front Range.
Granby Road and Bridge has collected donations of turkeys, half a dozen hams, prime rib and beverages donated by Pepsi ” as well as other food donations from the Pearl Dragon, Middle Park Meat, the Bread Co., Independent Propane and Maverick’s.
Chris’ father, Tim, who has been helping round up support from the Front Range, plans to bring up 10 quarts of his homemade salsa, said to be the best, as one of the many auction items. Other big auction items include tickets for Colorado Bronco, Avalanche, Nuggets and Mammoth games, hot springs and ski passes. Patrons may bid on these and a plethora of other auction items, a list which has already well-exceeded expectations. Winner results are to be announced at 7 p.m.
Kelly Trucking, Inc. jumped on the Baer bandwagon and donated $1,000 as drawing prize at the benefit. To purchase tickets, contact any Road and Bridge employee or call the Granby office. Others who have gone out of their way to help the Baer family include Louie’s Ladies bowling team, which is donating proceeds from its cookbook sales to help Rose. Cookbooks are available for $10.
“It makes you proud to live in a community like this,” Haynes said of the response to donations for the benefit, and the Baers agree.
“The whole county has our heart-felt gratitude,” Chris said. “There’s no way we could ever pay it back. We sure appreciate it. It means a bunch.”
Those who want to help but are unable to attend the benefit next Friday may make monetary contributions to an account established at Grand Mountain Bank in the name of The Baer Family Fund. Checks may be sent to P.O. Box 964, Granby, CO