Berthoud Bash moves home

By Katie Harris
The Surveyor

A new venue, fresh theme, and local caterer will be a few of the highlights of this year’s Berthoud Bash, which will see a packed house on Friday, April 7.

Not only did the event sell out for the first time in its nine years, it sold out a full month before the event, during the early-bird sales event.

Berthoud Bash co-planner Hawley Vining said this was in part due to the smaller venue this year; Berthoud’s own Brookside Gardens Event Center, but the number of tickets sold so early in the season astounded everyone involved. This year’s ticket sales totaled 265, the maximum available, in contrast to 230 last year.

The move from Embassy Suites in Loveland to Brookside Gardens stemmed from the desire for a more “community feel” by the event’s planning team.

“The Berthoud Bash is a big community event,” said Vining. “We’re already supporting our local schools, so we thought why not support our local businesses too?”

In addition to the new, local venue, this year’s menu will be provided by Berthoud-based Origins Catering, with other local companies helping make the evening come together.

“We’re using local vendors as much as possible,” said Vining. “What better way to support the people who support us.”

In addition to a venue change, the event will feature a brand new theme this year – “Sport your school colors.” Guests are encouraged to wear the colors of the Berthoud schools, or to dust off their old letterman jackets and pins for a touch of vintage flare. The idea is to step back in time to the days of schools past, while supporting Berthoud schools’ future.

The evening’s entertainment will be much the same as in past years, including popular activities like the silent and live auctions, heads or tails game, and dessert bar. Also as in past years, Buddy Kouns has agreed to once again bring on the laughs as the evening’s MC.

Proceeds from the event will go directly back to Berthoud schools. The event is on year two of a three-year Chromebook push, the goal of which is to purchase 510 of the student-friendly laptops for local students. In addition, teachers are given the opportunity to request specific items each year for consideration.

“This year, despite the mill levy and bond failures, the organizers are really dedicated to providing our teachers with the tools they need and addressing the budget shortfalls,” said Vining. “Chromebooks, along with the Wi-Fi capabilities and teacher training that go along with them, are a big focus for us, because we want students to have a smooth transition from elementary to middle, to high school in terms of technology.”

While this may seem a daunting task, in nine years Bash supporters have managed to raise over $1 million for Berthoud schools. A snapshot of money earned at Bash and where it has been allocated over the years can be found at www.berthoudbash.org.

As far as future plans go, Vining said the team has some ideas up its sleeves for the event’s 10-year anniversary in 2018, which may involve a play on the concurrent decade anniversary of the town’s founding, but won’t begin finalizing details until they’ve successfully pulled off this year’s Bash.

“Having 265 people buying tickets a month before the event shows how much people really care about this event, our community, and our schools,” she said. “As a parent, that’s just amazing to me, and our commitment to our community is to make sure the event’s a blast.”