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Erie’s Third Annual Hope & Gratitude 2023

Erie’s Third Annual Hope & Gratitude 2023


photo by E. Klemons, Erie CO

What started as a way to give our school-aged children hope during the Pandemic has grown into a town tradition in just three years. PTO Directors Jessica Bergschneider and Tasia Foss came up with this wonderful idea to help families during the Pandemic. We sure are happy to see such a special celebration unique to our town grow in popularity.

Started by the Soaring Heights PTO in Erie, the Hope & Gratitude Project was a drive-through event due to Covid in 2021 and was received so well, they brought it back. This year well over 1,000 people attended. There were 6,000 luminaries stretching two blocks, each with its own special message hand-drawn by students.

This year had most of Erie’s elementary and middle schools participating, including Aspen Ridge Preparatory School, Black Rock, Erie Elementary, Erie Middle School, Highlands, Meadowlark, Red Hawk, and of course, Soaring Heights.

Downtown Restaurants and businesses supported by offering special discounts through the evening, and the Town of Erie helped with a grant.


Shavonne Blades grew up on the West Coast but moved to Colorado in High School. She left for California after school and returned to Colorado in 1990. She got her start in media at the age of 21 in Santa Cruz, California as an advertising sales rep. Having no experience and nothing more than a couple of years as an art college attendee she felt the bug to work in media at a young age. She learned that by helping her customers with design and marketing, their campaigns would be far more successful and has made a 30+ year career in design, copywriting, and marketing for her clients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPy4MMdcfLg. She has always chosen to work in Independent Media and believes deeply in the need for true, authentic Community Journalism. She is proud that YS has never compromised journalism standards in its 20+ history and continues to print YS on paper monthly while also expanding web coverage. She has worked at 3 Alternative Weeklies and founded Yellow Scene Magazine in 2000. You can learn more about Shavonne's adventures in the YS 20th Anniversary issue: https://yellowscene.com/2020/10/08/the-yellow-scenes-red-tornado/

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