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Many of these articles had a previous life as "Give Back" or "Local Hero" features in Breckenridge magazine, profiling Summit County locals or non-profits doing good in the world. Enjoy the read of their humbling deeds.

Framing a Passion

Breck locals’ philanthropic instincts tend to have a global scope—there’s Doug Nendel, a former volunteer firefighter, who created the Cambodian Relief Fund to support firefighters in Cambodia who were in desperate need of supplies to do their jobs. And Shannon Galpin, who founded Mountain2Mountain, which partners with Afghanistan organizations to empower women and children in that country through education. And physician Craig Perrinjaquet (a.k.a ‘doc pj”), perhaps the best known among Breckenridge’s traveling solo philanthropists, who has improved the lives of thousands of patients worldwide through his grassroots medical trips, spanning Honduras to Haiti to Nepal and the Darfur region of Sudan.

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Rose's Journey

In the summer of 2004, a young Ugandan woman by the name of Rose Nanyonga Clarke stood up in front of a crowd at Breckenridge Christian Ministries and recounted her journey from a childhood spent practicing witchcraft in a small Ugandan village to pursuing a graduate degree in the U.S.

The compelling tale Rose shared that day resonated deeply with locals DJ Schappert and Dave Olszewski. Both men grew up in the Dallas/Ft Worth area and had been involved in international volunteer work since high school. Both continued to travel internationally after moving to Breckenridge.

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Local Hero

Summit County physician Ken Adnan had already paddled down many rivers prior to his first volunteer stint with the non-profit First Descents. His first trip with the group may, however, have taught him more about the value of taking risks in the wild than any rapid he’s ever run.

First Descents offers free outdoor experiences to cancer fighters and survivors to help them reclaim their lives after a diagnosis – and help them connect with others traveling a similar road. At the core of the program are weeklong kayaking, rock climbing, and surfing programs for young adults aged 18-39. The belief underlying the programs is that challenging outdoor experiences offer unique opportunities to empower these individuals to “climb, paddle, and surf beyond their diagnosis.”

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Benevolence

Darfur, South Sudan. Nepal during the Maoist insurgency. Haiti after 2010’s catastrophic earthquake; Honduras after 1998’s Hurricane Mitch.The passport stamps which Breckenridge physician Craig Perrinjaquet, MD, has collected over two decades of volunteer physician stints across the globe read like a shorthand code for human tragedy.  Asked to explain his penchant for small-scale, medical projects in communities often overlooked by larger aid groups in these devastated regions, Perrinjaquet relates a story about a lecture he once heard years ago by the inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller. Fuller had said that if somebody was already doing something, there really was no need for him (Fuller) to be there, doing it too.

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Raising Tane

Up at The Basin, he’s simply known as “T.”  The lifties helped him learn to ride chairlifts at ten weeks old. Two weeks later, he was stepped on by a size 11 ski boot, an entanglement that earned him six weeks in a cast. Unfazed, he began hanging with skiers at the top of the West Wall saddle near Pali Chair as he healed. He once was on scene for a twelve-year-old with a knee injury long before his partner got there; the manager of the rental shop made him a Gore-Tex cape out of an old ski patrol jacket hood so he could be recognized as the Caped Crusader he was. Just before his second birthday, he slayed his Avi Certification Test.

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