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Honoring our community

Help us honor a few of our amazing community members making a difference, in Riverside park during the Ark Valley Pride Picnic.



Peter Mossman
Grand Marshal


Ark Valley Pride announced its 2019 grand marshal, Peter Mossman. If you’ve wanted to celebrate 50 years of LGBTQ+ history then you are in good company, third time’s a charm!

Peter moved to Salida in 1996 joining his twin brother George and worked  as a nanny, bartender and waitress for many years before opening Mr. Beauty Skincare.  Peter is humbled and honoured to be chosen as this year's Grand Marshal for Ark Valley Pride.  He loves this community and feels privileged and fortunate to call Salida home.  There is a heart on S mountain for a reason.  Salida is love.

The Purple People Powered Pride Parade sponsored by Planned Parenthood will feature a number of local organizations including, Chaffee County Public Health, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County, Chaffee County Democrats, Family and Youth Initiatives. Riot Families of Salida, Ark Valley Mountain Mommies, San Luis Valley Pride, Free Mom Hugs, Partnership for Community Action, Ark Valley Equality Network, hundreds of local allies, and Mr. Beauty’s Girls will walk with Peter as the lead of this year’s parade.

Peter will also be in attendance at the screening of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, speak at the Ark Valley Pride Picnic, be introducing the FEMBOTS at the Ark Valley Pride After Party at Benson’s, and will be brunchin’ it up at HOTDISH!!! - Ark Valley Pride’s Drag Brunch on Sunday.

Youth Awards

Youth Of The Year
John Toves


The Youth of the Year Award is intended to recognize and celebrate youth who have overcome adversity and demonstrated exceptional character and accomplishments in school and community.

John is a junior at Chaffee County High School. He has an internship at the Early Childhood Center in Buena Vista, as well as holding a position at City Market. He is dedicated to supporting youth of all ages in safe inclusive spaces.

As the Vice President of the GSA, he can be found reading LGBTQ+ friendly storybooks or inviting teens to events. John has over 100 hours in community outreach and is a favorite at, adopt a Grandparent, Mini Blessings horse rescue 5th-grade mentorship, and student free food backpack program with the Optimist Club.

Excellence Award
Jane McBride


The Excellence Award is intended to recognize those who have distinguished themselves as leaders or outstanding advocates for LGBTQ+ causes by inspiring or instilling a culture of excellence in openness and inclusivity.

Jane McBride is the President and founder of Salida High School’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance. She loves writing and looking at flowers. Next year she will be attending Columbia University in New York City. 

True Colors Award
Athena Kintgen


The True Colors Award recognizing LGBTQ+ youth who serve as role models and examples of what one person can do to make a difference when they are true to themselves.

We honor Athena’s courage to be true to who she is, her strength to move forward, and her desire to grow. It is reflected in all of the things she do in our community, from youth to elderly, on and off and behind the stage, and as a volunteer in countless ways.

Athena spends most of her time helping others. She is frequently found volunteering, working at the Boys and Girls Club, or teaching Sign Language. In her free time, she enjoys crocheting and drinking peppermint tea to wind down. 

Leadership Award
Ash Love

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The Leadership Award is intended to recognize a student that has distinguished themselves as leaders and outstanding advocates through their involvement beyond the campus and into the community.

Ash is a sophomore at Chaffee County High School. She was the Vice President of the Chaffee County Gay Straight Alliance during the 2018-2019 school year. She is the President of the GSA for the 2018-2019 school year and has hosted a number of meetings and group events. Ash started an LGBTQ+ story time at the Buena Vista Public Library. She has also started an LGBTQ+ support group May of 2019. Her leadership within Chaffee County High School, the Town of Buena Vista and beyond will be filled with support, love, and understanding.

Rising Star Award
Vander Ritchie


The Rising Star Award recognizes emerging leaders who show ongoing and exceptional growth for their contribution to our community.

Vander Ritchie is a local student at Salida High School and host of ‘Storytime Radio’ on kHEN. Vander is highly involved in politics, including being a member of the SHS Gender and Sexuality Alliance and organizing for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.

On his radio show, Vander has dedicated time to politics, including endorsing ‘One Cup at a Time’, a charity dedicated to getting plastic out of the ocean. He is also the assistant editor for the Tenderfoot Times newspaper, where he primarily writes about politics, philosophy, and art.

You may have also seen Vander on stage, as he’s been acting for a large part of his life. His roles have included the understudy for Seymour Krelborn in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, James in ‘The Miracle Worker’ and his upcoming role of Gratiano in ‘The Merchant of Venice’.

Rising Star Award
Jen Lobeck


The Rising Star Award recognizes emerging leaders who show ongoing and exceptional growth for their contribution to our community.

“I’m a 15 year old openly queer Salida girl, and I am involved with many artistic practices. I was introduced to the Ark Valley and Pride community, and I became happily involved. I’m also an active member of the Gender Sexuality Alliance in high school. My goal is to help others feel welcomed into the community, and to feel comfortable with themselves and those around them. I would also like to bring awareness to those unknowing of our community. Having pride for being a part of this has never been a regret of mine.”

Community Awards

ALLY of the Year
Caitlin Schleicher


The Ally of the Year Award recognizes and honors contributions made by an individual or organization who shows a consistent commitment to helping the LGBTQ+ community by using their resources and centers of influence to provide opportunities for and empower LGBTQ+ individuals, employees, organizations, or the community-at-large.

Caitlin is being honored not only for her work with youth with the Salida High School LGBTQ+ Club, but also her work with young people of different abilities, with the Salida High School Drama Team, and how all of that has informed her most important work as a mother.

Cat Schleicher has been involved in LGBT+ advocacy since she was a member of a GSA in high school. Having spent her entire life involved with theatre, dance, and other artistic endeavors, she has seen the importance of using one's privilege to lift up all voices and talents--especially those who have traditionally been marginalized or silenced.

Cat has lived in Salida for almost 5 years. In that time, she has involved herself with many of the wonderful organizations this community has to offer. She has volunteered with The Alliance for 3 years, mostly as a crisis line volunteer. She has the honor of being the Assistant Director of the Salida High School Drama Team for 4 years and has been involved with Shakespeare in the Park and other theatrical productions in the area.

This year, she took on the role of staff advisor for Salida High School's GSA. Cat strives to bring a culture of inclusiveness and compassion to everything she takes on. She is committed to helping uplift and empower the LGBT+, especially youth. Cat would like to thank her husband Russ and children Malcolm, Rory, and Ember--without the love and support of her very patient family, Cat wouldn't be able to do half as much.

Cornerstone award
Julie Kimbrough
Jon Kristofer Sackett

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The Cornerstone Award is intended to recognize individuals or organizations that show a consistent commitment to race, gender, and age equality by creating opportunities through employment, funding, and community outreach.

The two are being honored for all of the ways they have and continue to shape this community through their hard work, kindness, openness, and generosity.

Julie and Jon are incredibly honored to be recognized by the Ark Valley Equality Network. They are both lifelong and passionate advocates of equitable and fair treatment for everyone, especially those somehow deemed as "outside" of the herd. Both Julie and Jon grew up outside of Colorado as the awkward, slightly weird, picked on, smart kids.

Julie in the Midwest and Jon in South Carolina. But both enjoyed frequent visits to Colorado during those years and moved permanently as quickly as they could. Jon joined his Grandmother in Fairplay in 1992 as soon he graduated from high school. Except for a brief time in New Mexico while getting his Bachelor's degrees in Nutrition, Dietetics, and certification in Western Herbalism, Jon has lived and worked in the area including Leadville, Alma, Fairplay, Denver, Durango, and now Salida. Julie completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Biology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Master's program in Neurobiology at Texas Women's University before making the move to Denver in 1995.

After checking out the state, Julie fell in love with and moved to Salida in 2000. Through mutual friends, Julie and Jon met in 2011, bonded instantly, and started brainstorming the empire that would start with the creation of Seasons Café. Outside of building a place that would be at the forefront of the food revolution, another of the founding principles of Seasons Café was to create a place where everyone would feel welcome and at home and respected for their individuality.

Elevation award
Mike Orrill


The Elevation Award is intended to recognize and honor individual(s) or organization that through mindfulness and faith lifts not only the members of our LGBTQ+ Community but the community as a whole.

Mike is being honored for all of the ways he has and continues to shape this community through his love and kindness.

Mike Orrill is the Regional Health Connector for Chaffee, Custer, Fremont and Lake Counties working out of the Chaffee County Public Health office in Salida.

His main interests are in the areas of addiction and opioid education; mental health awareness; facilitating the Chaffee County Health Coalition; administering Chaffee Resources—Chaffee County’s new health and wellness website; and working with friends in the LGBTQ community. In this capacity he has been involved with Spectrum Alliance support groups, Gay-Straight Alliances in area high schools, PRIDE, and facilitating Safe Zone workshops.

Recently retired after 35 years as a Presbyterian minister, Mike is married with three children and five grandchildren. Interests include hiking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, gardening, visiting national parks and any kind of chocolate.