Eagle’s Nest dreams of offering hope to the neglected
Grand County is a place of unparalleled beauty but as anyone who has lived here very long will tell you there are several elements of civic life our region is lacking in terms of services.
There is a relative dearth of mental health providers in the region and surprisingly only one single foster home in the entire county, which means that almost all children from Grand County in need of foster care must be relocated to other places in the state.
That dynamic could change drastically though in the near future if Marcia House and others from the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Ranch (ENWR) can accomplish their vision. House, the Founder and Executive Director of ENWR, and other team members are working to establish the ENWR as a Christian-based children’s home community in Grand County. Once up and running the ENWR will feature multiple homes on a ranch in Grand County. Each home will be staffed by a married couple that will oversee up to six children all living together as a family on a working cattle ranch.
“The ranch does not actually exist yet,” said House. “We are in the process and have been working on it for about two and a half to three years.” House, who is originally from Ohio where she worked as a teacher, has lived in Grand County since 1995. She and her husband own the Winding River Resort located at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.
“When you look at different types of facilities for kids, people instantly think of a dormitory,” said House. “Our goal is to create as normal of a family setting as possible to give kids an opportunity to know what it is to be a part of a family. For the kids it is a place to call home, not just temporarily but permanently.”
The ENWR will be a non-denominational faith-based program focusing on the spiritual principals of Christianity and the parents that will eventually staff the houses will be Christians as well. The ranching aspect of the ENWR will, hopefully, provide the program with a form of income from livestock auctions and also serve as a method of therapy, using horses as quasi-service animals in working with the abused, neglected or abandoned children.
“A lot of people think these are bad kids,” House said. “They are kids that come from bad circumstances but they are not bad kids. These are just kids that need a chance. That is what we hope to give them.” House explained the mission statement for the ENWR is, “renewing hope, rebuilding dreams, restoring futures, impacting generations one life at a time.”
House has been working to develop the ENWR for several years now. The concept has essentially been fully formed and now the organizations is working to locate a specific ranch to purchase while also trying to raise funds for the project, which is estimated to cost into the millions of dollars when everything is said and done. She explained that ENWR is getting the last of their “ducks in a row” before they begin their big fundraising efforts. “We are trying to make sure that when we sit down with people they are going to know we are not some fly by night organization,” she said.
Recently House was approached by young Sophia McCrary of Grand Lake, who attends the same church as House. Sophia asked House what she could do and what she could pray for to help the dream of ENWR become a reality. House told Sophia to pray the organization could secure both funding and land. “She came back to me two or three weeks later,” said House. “She said she felt like she should help us by having a fundraiser.”
“I wanted to do something to help Eagle’s Nest,” stated Sophia.
So the 13-year old turned to her family who in turn helped the young lady set up a movie night fundraiser in Grand Lake for this Friday night. “My daughter just had that on her heart, to help other kids,” said Sophia’s father Keith McCrary. “She wants them to experience what she has, a family that loves her.”
Sophia’s Movie Night fundraiser for the ENWR will be held this Friday night in Grand Lake at the Grand Lake Community House, located at 1026 Park Ave. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and attendees will be able to grab concessions and peruse and bid on a silent auction before the film starts at 7 p.m. The film selection for the evening is “CAMP” a Christian movie with a PG-13 rating.
Ticket prices for the event vary with general admission going for $8 and reserve seating for $25. Discounts are offered for large groups or advance ticket sales. Tickets can be purchased at the door or ahead of time at Back 40 Coffee in Grand Lake. Funds raised from the event will go to the ENWR.
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