December 2015 Around Town 3

Christmas Carriage Parade

Parker’s annual Christmas Carriage 
Parade will begin at noon on Saturday, December 12, in downtown Parker and will feature marching bands, equestrian entries and Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Area residents are invited to arrive early and stay after the parade to experience holiday ice sculpting and a petting zoo and pony rides from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Home for the Holidays Winter Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pictures with Santa will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The 2015 parade is themed “A Storybook Christmas” and will begin heading west on Mainstreet at noon. Parade spectators are asked to remember that Mainstreet and Victorian roads will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and those parked in this area will not be able to exit until roads are reopened. Parking outside of these limits is advised.

For maps and information, visit ParkerOnline.org/CarriageParade or call 303.841.0353.

Parker Police Cram the Cruiser

The Parker Police Department will host its annual Cram the Cruiser event on December 19 in downtown Parker to benefit the Parker Task Force Backpack Program.

The Backpack Program focuses on providing homeless students identified by the Douglas County School District with food for the weekend. Each Friday, qualifying children pick up a backpack with food items to provide them nourishment over the weekend so that they are able to focus on their studies instead of their hunger.

Come visit and have a free cup of coffee or hot chocolate with Parker’s police officers, carol at downtown businesses and take pictures with the Frozen Princess.

The event will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ruth Memorial Chapel, 19650 E. Mainstreet. For more information, a list of food items needed and other events taking place that evening, visit ParkerPolice.org/FoodDrive.

Winter Science Camps

The PACE Center is offering science camps to keep young minds busy this winter break. Among the camps are:

Science in Motion – 6- to 12-year-olds will assemble and control pulleys, levers, catapults and simple machines. They’ll also make sidewalk chalk and crystal gardens, and walk on the wild side of things by exploring owl pellets, birds and all kinds of bugs.

Jedi Engineering Using LEGO – 5- and 6-year-olds will explore far-away worlds and engineering principles right in front of them.

Jedi Master Engineering Using LEGO – 7- through 12-year-olds will build complex machines and structures based on the best designers from a galaxy far, far away.

The camps run the week of December 28, 2015, at the PACE Center. The cost varies. For information, visit ParkerArts.org/Education.

Neglected Horses are on Long Road to Recovery

The severely neglected horses that came to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown in early September are slowly making progress.

“Overall, the horses are doing fantastic,” Garret Leonard, director of the Harmony Equine Center, says of the horses that were seized by the Houston SPCA from a facility in Conroe, Texas. “They have gained a substantial amount of weight, with most putting on between 100 and 140 pounds in just 35 days.

All of the stallions have been gelded, thanks to a generous group of Colorado State University veterinary students who came down to the center to perform the surgeries at no cost to us.”

Leonard says working with untouched, unbroken horses can be dangerous and that getting them halter trained and ready to ride will be a long process.

“We’ll just keep giving them the care they deserve and working with them until they’re healthy, trust humans and are ready for adoption.”

Sponsors Needed for 2016 State of the Town Luncheon and Mayor’s Black Tie & Boots Gala

The Rotary Club of Parker is looking for sponsors for its 2016 State of the Town luncheon on February 23 and the Mayor’s Black Tie & Boots Gala on February 27 at the PACE Center.

These events give businesses and residents the opportunity to support the community and visit with Mayor Mike Waid, Town Council members and Town of Parker officials. A highlight of the luncheon is the presentation of the Parker Impact Award, which recognizes a person who has made a valuable contribution to the Parker community.

Since these events are the major annual fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Parker, net proceeds will be used to fund local and global community service projects for those in need.

For information, visit ParkerRotary.org or contact Larry Brutlag at brutlagl@gmail.com or 303.947.9136, or Steve Trevino at snaatrevino@aol.com or 303.204.5407.

Parker Police Wear Body Cameras

Parker Police officers are now equipped with body-worn cameras.

“These cameras reinforce our dedication to transparency and commitment to quality service,” says Parker Police Chief David King.

While other organizations are coming under scrutiny for their body-worn camera policy, the Parker Police Department is receiving national support after working with the ACLU to ensure the rights of both officers and citizens.

“Our collaborative effort resulted in what the ACLU believes to be one of the best policies in the country,” says ACLU Public Policy Director Denise Maes.

Body-worn cameras increase the accountability of both officers and community members. National studies on the use of such devices have shown a drop in use-of-force by officers and an even larger drop in complaints against officers. The recorded video may also be used as evidence in court proceedings.

Rotarians Present Check to Project Sanctuary

Rotarians Kam Breitenbach and Jane Johnson presented a $4,000 check to a crew from Project Sanctuary on November 6.

The money was from a grant put together by the Rotary Club of Parker and the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club and will be used for many veterans and their families to stay for six days at the Project Sanctuary location at the Snow Mountain YMCA Camp in Granby.

Parker Makes “Best Cities” List

The Town of Parker ranked at #19 on WalletHub’s list of the “Best Small Cities in America” for 2015.

WalletHub compared 1,268 cities with populations of 25,000 to 100,000 residents, looking at 22 different metrics across four key categories: affordability, economic health, education, and health and quality of life.

Parker was one of three Colorado cities to make the top 100 along with #2 Littleton and #48 Lafayette.