Volunteer News

Update Your Information NOW in Volunteer Database!

We are so excited!  After 6 years, we have updated the volunteer online profile in our volunteer database. This will enable us to better match volunteers with volunteer opportunities.  We received feedback from volunteers and staff prior to making the changes.  Now, we need YOU to update your records.  The directions are below.  This will take about 10 minutes of your time. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE DOES THIS! Thanks in advance for your assistance in helping us to better serve volunteers and the station. If you run into any problems, please contact Susan Barber susanbarber@rmpbs.org.


  1. Go to www.rmpbs.org/volunteer 
  2. Under “Record Your Hours/Update Your Information/Schedule Yourself…”, click on “Click here to make sure your hours are counted”
  3. On the next page, click where it says “click here to schedule yourself for….”
  4. Enter login (your email address) and password
    *If you have forgotten your password, follow the prompts to reset your password.
  5. After you have logged in, on your home page, click on the “My Profile” tab. Review all the information and update. *Remember to hit the green “SAVE” button whenever you make a change! Everyone must update the “Skills and Experience,” and the “Computer Skills and Hardware” sections. *Don’t forget to click on green “SAVE” button!

NOTE:  If you use Windows XP operating system, you cannot access the volunteer application and you cannot record your hours or access your volunteer account.  You can access the volunteer application, access your account or record your hours in the following ways: 

  1. Use another computer that does not use Word XP and go to www.rmpbs.org/volunteer.
  2. Use the web browser on your notebook or smart phone and go to www.rmpbs.org/volunteer.  
  3. Contact Susan Barber susanbarber@rmpbs.org for additional help.


Twin Time Capsules Demonstrate Early Ties Between Emily Griffith Opportunity School and Rocky Mountain PBS
By Anne Marshall Christner, Station’s Archived Memories (SAM) Volunteer

September 9, 2016 marked the 100th Anniversary of the Emily Griffith Opportunity School – now called the Emily Griffith Technical College. To celebrate, participants in Denver witnessed the opening of a time capsule that had been bricked off in a new expansion building completed in 1956 and now ready for demolition. 

Curiously, there was also a time capsule placed in the same building at the same time by the new KRMA educational television station. This was not a coincidence. KRMA, the foundation for Rocky Mountain PBS, had ties to Emily Griffith Opportunity School that went beyond co-location at Glenarm Place. Both entities were central to Denver Public Schools’ adult education efforts at mid-century.

Among the items unveiled in the KRMA time capsule were: articles from The Denver Post about KRMA, a study guide for the “Poco a Poco” Spanish language series, KRMA scripts, and a booklet about the Emily Griffith Opportunity School.

In honor of Rocky Mountain PBS’ 60th anniversary, let’s take a closer look at the history of KRMA and its connection to Emily Griffith Opportunity School:

On April 29, 1953 the Board of the Denver Public Schools (DPS) agreed to apply to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a license to establish an educational TV station. The FCC approved the application in July 1953 to form KRMA-TV, whose call letters stood for “Knowledge for the Rocky Mountain Area.” 

Dr. Kenneth Oberholtzer, superintendent of DPS, was instrumental in getting KRMA started. Oberholtzer reported to The Denver Post in 1953 that financing for the new station would come from taxes via the Denver Public Schools system, philanthropic contributions, and cost sharing through the Denver Area Council for Educational Television. 

The reason that a school department wanted to have an educational TV license was to enhance efforts at educating Denver students, especially adult learners. At the time, classes at Emily Griffith were full, with long waiting lists. Dr. Oberholtzer made a convincing argument to relieve that pressure through on-air instruction, by demonstrating that the cost for adult education delivered by Emily Griffith Opportunity School was 45¢ per hour per student, while using television would cost just 15¢ per hour per student!

Oberholtzer’s proposed idea was controversial in the community. Some questioned the advisability of using tax dollars to support a TV station aimed at adults instead of the more typical and “essential” DPS needs, while others wondered whether there was a need for an educational TV (ETV) station in Denver. 

Eventually, proponents prevailed, and the station went on the air on January 30, 1956. 

KRMA initially offered 10 hours per week of week-night programming. Those programs came from local and national talent who produced their own shows with educational content. Topics for those initial programs included child development, travel, classical music, religion, the arts, and foreign policy, mostly directed at adult audiences. But there were also courses directly related to occupational training. 

One hugely popular class was shorthand. Study kits accompanied the class and a certificate was given to those who passed the course. One woman who took the shorthand course received a raise of $30 a week after completing the course!

Such programs targeted at adults were delivered in collaboration with Emily Griffith Opportunity School. In fact, Russell Casement, who was the principal of Emily Griffith starting in 1960, was appointed to serve simultaneously as executive director of KRMA in 1963.

(Initially, there also were a few evening programs directed at young children. KRMA – Channel Six later offered daytime and summer courses to school children enrolled in the Denver Public Schools, such as foreign language instruction [Spanish and French], Grade 4 Science, Math for Intermediate and Upper Grades, Spelling, Geography, and Sewing. These programs were overseen by a separate DPS entity – the Boettcher School of the Air.)

An article in The Denver Post (Dec. 25, 1960) recognized KRMA leaders Dr. Kenneth Oberholtzer, superintendent of DPS, Howard Johnson, principal of the Emily Griffith Opportunity School during the 1950s, and James Case, program director for KRMA, as significant contributors to the national movement for educational TV.

In 1987, the station’s license was converted to a community license and transferred to what had become the Council for Public Television Channel 6, Inc.. Despite this parting of ways, Rocky Mountain PBS continued to have adult education as a central mission. Today, there are no tests or certificates, but how can viewers help but learn about history, science, public affairs, etc. by watching American Experience, Colorado Experience, Arts District, NOVA, Nature, Ken Burns documentaries, Frontline, and the PBS Newshour? 

In that vein, Rocky Mountain PBS continues to share a vision articulated by Emily Griffith in 1916 when she dedicated the school she founded to “providing opportunities for all who wish to learn.” 

Watch these fun and interesting videos!
-   A 3-minute condensed version of the extraction and ceremony
-   This is a full version of the ceremony (which actually includes a fun presentation and comments by Tina Cartagena during the ceremony).

NOTE:  Pay particular attention to the time period of the video from 28:37—31:30 that includes Tina and several KRMA SAM volunteers seeing the time capsule for the very first time during the ceremony.
For more on Emily Griffith, watch this episode of Colorado Experience.


Denver Kids Fun Fest Rocks!

On Saturday, September 10th, the KRMA station, parking lot, and Bannock Street reverberated with the sounds of thousands of kids enjoying fun activities, stage performances and some of their favorite PBS characters. Victor Cooper, KUVO host and personality, served as the fabulous stage emcee and led everyone in the Hokey Pokey……numerous times.  He welcomed dancers, martial arts kids, actors and musicians on stage.  

Kids Fun Fest is an annual event that is presented each year.  It is free and one of the best block parties in town!  The Denver Police Department hosted a tricycle course. Future astronomers viewed the skies through a telescope courtesy of the Denver Astronomical Society.  Future tennis players enjoyed volleying the ball with instructors and volunteers.  Young artists created chalk masterpieces on the parking lot surface and future architects created block skyscrapers at Lincoln’s Block Island.  Drum beats could be heard in Studio 1 coming from young musicians.  Clifford the Big Red Dog, Daniel Tiger, Princess Presto and Curious George opened their arms to all who wanted hugs. And on and on……….

Thanks go to all the volunteers, booth sponsors and RMPBS staff who make this event possible.  (See article under “Volunteer Appreciation.”) And, thanks to our youngest RMPBS fans who brought along their families to this very special happening.

Enjoy the slideshow!  Thanks to volunteer photographers, David Hutchings and Robert Mercer who provided these photos.

2016 RMPBS KIDS Fun Fest

Dogs, Cancer and Hope:  An Event with Impact

On September 22nd, Colorado State University, University of Colorado and Rocky Mountain PBS partnered to present a VIP preview screening of the documentary The Answer to Cancer May Be Walking Beside Us.  Over 120 attendees (including 3 wonderful canines) enjoyed a happy hour, a viewing of the documentary and a panel discussion.

About the documentary:
Humans and dogs share a common enemy in cancer.  One in three people, one in four dogs develop cancer in their lifetimes.  As we seek to battle this fierce enemy, who better to turn to than our best friend?  The documentary is produced by Colorado State University and aired on RMPBS on September 29th.

Panelists and speakers on September 22nd included:  Dr. Christine Hardy who oversees operations and strategic development at the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center; Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld who serves as the American Cancer Society’s Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Terry Opgenorth who is the Vice President of CSU Ventures; Dr. Dan Theodorescu who is the Paul Bunn Professor and Director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center; Dr. Susan VandeWoude who is currently Professor of Comparative Medicine and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at CSU; and Judy Walker who is a mom and Osteosarcoma survivor.

“VIP” Guests pictured below:
Thanks to photographer Robert Mercer



History Of The KRMA Garage Sale
By Laura Sampson, Founder of Station’s Archived Memories (SAM)
Content from Station’s Archived Memories

KRMA Mascot, Mrs. Bird performed in an on-air promo for the Garage Sale, 1986

October 1986-1996
Creative and productive ways to raise funds for Rocky Mountain PBS and its quest to provide the community with outstanding programming and community services has been an ongoing mission since the 1950s.  The combined trio of staff, volunteers and community has always been highly successful when working together on behalf of public broadcasting.

Gary and Vicki Reynolds served several years as volunteer Garage Sale co-Chairpersons

As an example...when KRMA management wanted new fundraising ideas in the 1980s, the Channel Six volunteers stepped up to offer their help with fundraising efforts by organizing, planning and hosting a community Garage Sale. The garage sales continued for a decade and were extremely popular from 1986-1996.


Thanking Garage Sale business donors

The first Garage Sale, October 31-November 2 1986, was held at the old Gates Warehouse at 555 South Broadway. Gary and Vicki Reynolds, volunteers extraordinaire, co-chaired the event and signed up nearly 40 loyal volunteers to help haul donated goods, organize, price and display every donation plus work throughout the 3-day event.  At the sale, volunteers and staff worked together serving as cashiers, troubleshooters, movers and floorwalkers. The volunteers even returned after the sale closed to help clean up the warehouse!

To prepare for the Garage Sale, volunteers worked closely with production staff to develop on-air promotional spots to attract community donors and buyers. 

Shoppers at 1986 Channel Six Garage Sale

The 1991 sale welcomed over 200 donors from the community. Donations for each sale were accepted for several months ahead of the event allowing for a collection of thousands of items!  Over the years, buyers were able to choose from a huge array of donated items including cars, motorcycles, skis, stereos, televisions, sporting goods, patio furniture, kids’ items, clothing, household goods and a bevy of antiques!  
The first Garage Sale (1986) raised an astounding $13,000.  Each year, the proceeds of the Garage Sale grew from the original $13,000 to $42,000!!

Eager buyers at the 1990 Garage Sale

Due to donations of the use of off-site space for the garage sale by local companies such as Gates, Denver InterPlaza, Montgomery Ward Center, and Lowry Air Force Base, the expenses were kept at a minimum.  Additionally, the use of rental tables, chairs, antique appraisals and many other services were donated by local businesses that were “Friends of Channel Six.”  

1990 Garage Sale Volunteers

When the old Montgomery Ward building attached to Denver InterPlaza was torn down in 1994, Channel Six lost its space for the Garage Sale.  The decision was then made to open a permanent “Channel Six Garage Sale” store on South Broadway known as “Reruns.”  Reruns (1992- 1995) remained open for three years, but ultimately had to close its doors when the property was sold.

Volunteer Appreciation - Thank You for Your Support!

Thanks to Volunteers from KRMA (Denver/Front Range)

Thank you, SAM Volunteers!

Many thanks go to the dedicated Rocky Mountain PBS SAM (Station’s Archived Memories) volunteers for their ongoing work to preserve the remarkable history of RMPBS.  For more than sixteen years, the SAM volunteers continue to work every week throughout the year to preserve various aspects of the station’s history by preserving Oral Histories, Photographs, Station Documents, Memorabilia and Local Productions.

If you’d like to know more about volunteering for SAM or contributing to the archives, please contact the RMPBS SAM Office at 303-620-5734 or email SAM@rmpbs.org.


Congratulations Super School News Volunteers

The fabulous Super School News volunteer team, led by volunteer chair, Janell Hetrick, have successfully launched the 2016-2017 Super School News season.  Super School News is generously supported by the Colorado Education Association.

Orientation was held on September 14th and teachers and students learned about how to pull together their 2-minute news broadcasts.  They heard from Kim Christiansen newscaster and anchor-9News, Cynthia Hessin, RMPBS executive producer, and Amie Baca, Vice President of the Colorado Education Association.

Congratulations to the Super School News volunteer team! Annette Barnett, Patty Boyd, Mike Cawthra, Kathy Crisler, Doña Dodson, Betty Flaten, Rich Goben, Laura Hoganson, Jan Lytton, Heather Mackinnon, Jackie Perlberg, Bill Smith, Cathy Tomlinson, Janet Weisheit, Tia Terlaja and Donna Prince.


Thanks to the Volunteer Mailing Team

The Leadership Giving Department welcomed the assistance of volunteers who helped put together an important mailing. Thanks to Bettye Clement, Ellyn Crago, Joyce Jappelle and Pam Herrlein!


Janet Weisheit, Nasiri Suzan, Betty Flaten, Teddi Wiest-Kent, Roy Kent, Sandy Gerulat, Tom Falacienski, Judy Lester Smith

Thanks to Volunteers Who Supported the VIP Documentary Screening

The volunteer team led by volunteer Teddi Wiest-Kent enabled a seamless execution of logistics surrounding the VIP documentary screening (The Answer to Cancer May Be Walking Beside You) and panel discussion on September 22nd.  Thanks go to Sandy Gerulat, Judy Lester Smith, Betty Flaten, Nasiri Suzan, Roy Kent, Tom Falacienski, Janet Weisheit and photographer Robert Mercer


The Volunteer Army that Delivers the Denver Kids Fun Fest

Even before the morning of September 10th, volunteers hit the neighborhood streets distributing flyers to inform the community surrounding the Denver station of the upcoming event and the street closure.

On the morning of September 10th, in the darkness before the dawn, a solitary figure can be seen walking down an empty street beckoned by the lights of the studio.  And, then another figure and another figure and another figure….until this army of volunteers swells to over 100 by the end of Fun Fest Day.  This army is fortified by dedication, endless energy, patience, good humor, talent and a commitment to deliver a day of fun and education to thousands of kids and families.  This army is not paid.  This army, instead, donates generously to the “cause.”  

For the 2016 Kids Fun Fest, this army was brilliantly led by University of Colorado senior, Hannah Wold (seen in the middle of the picture below in the yellow ball cap).  Hannah volunteered at the 2015 Kids Fun Fest and then volunteered to be chair of volunteers for the 2016 event.  From the end of May until mid-September, Hannah donated hundreds of hours recruiting and managing all the volunteers and volunteer logistics.  She worked at the station, at home and, as many suspect, on the endless bus rides to and from Denver and Boulder.  Of course, this type of undertaking requires significant organizational leadership that initially begins with spreadsheets and timelines outlining what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.  Hannah created this important infrastructure. The difficult task was filling in the blank spaces with the names of people and then establishing a relationship with these people and inspiring them with a vision of the final project. Hannah successfully wove together a community tapestry of volunteers that ranged from 13 years old to 75 years old.  Her final act was to handwrite notes of thanks to each and every volunteer.  Suffice it to say, she was respected and loved by all.  Thank you Hannah---we wish you well in your future endeavors and travels!

The army of volunteers is listed below.  Their success was written in thousands of happy faces of the young and old.  From heavy lifting (set-up and take down) to performing on stage, from managing crowds to “staffing booths,” from rebounding tennis balls to directing vendors, from greeting attendees to caring for lost children, from preparing 200+ sack lunches to filling in for other volunteers where needed, from recording the day in pictures to guiding PBS characters through crowds……and so much more……volunteers did it all.  Special shout-outs go to the volunteers who wore the challenging character costumes and gave life, love and warmth to Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Princess Presto and Daniel Tiger.  We are so glad you survived this grueling task but we know that the love and hugs you received from your adoring fans sustained you.  

From everyone at Rocky Mountain PBS and the thousands of attendees, we offer our boundless gratitude.  We are honored that you chose to donate your time and energy to the 2016 Kids Fun Fest!
Note:  Following the list of volunteers below, please view the slideshow!

Gerri Baron
Gordon Baron
Hannah Wold
Tia Terlage
Tyler Barber
Topher Barber
Todd Barber
Erin Beechner
Leah Bollin
Jean Chrest
Lukas DeVries
Roy Kent
Teddi Wiest-Kent
Catherine McCoy
Adrienne Pederson
Kendall Rames
Matt Reith
Julia Reith
Nancy Werner
Elizabeth Wold
Jared Wold
Roderick Wold
Mary King
Patrick Carabello
Tim Ross
Pat Hoeft
MaryAlyce Allery
Gerri Falco
Katherine Garretson
Lynn Bronikowski
Betty Flaten
Hannah Carillo
Patricia Laverty
Joyce Jappelle
Bernie Salazar
Chantel Mitchell
Myrlinda Huff
Taylor Phelps
Rachel Schauer
The Minter Family
Carrisa Cooper
Erin Snyder
Yoo Rim Oh
Renee Marcellis

Stage Interpreters
Ryan Cowley
Michelle Richey

Characters & Handlers
Curious George (aka Regina Huerter) handled by Veronica Penney
Clifford the Big Red Dog (aka Chris Graff) handled by Emily Bertelson
Princess Presto (aka Wendy Booth) handled by Dana Gaffin
Daniel Tiger (aka Paige Becker) handled by Lisa Petersen

David Hutchings
Robert Mercer

Stage Performances
Land of Smiles
Personal Achievement Martial Arts
Rocky Mountain Aardvarks
Colorado Mestizo Dancers
Colorado Conservatory of Dance

Breakdown Team
Boys Hope Girls Hope Team led by instructor Ryan Widemon

Now...enjoy the slide show!

2016 RMPBS KIDS FunFest Volunteers

Volunteer Reminder

Volunteers: Please note that if you sign in on the computer but don't sign out, the computer only gives you credit for 3 hours.  Not only do you cheat yourselves out of time, but the station also. Please send an e-mail to judylestersmith@rmpbs.org if you need to make a correction to your hours. In the email, include the date, time, and job assignment and we will make the adjustment. Thank you!


Check the Rocky Mountain PBS website for breaking information about station events at rmpbs.org/events.

  • Science in Action (Grand Junction): “Magnifying Our Impact”
    October 20, 2016 from 6-8pm at the The John McConnell Math & Science Center: 2660 Unaweep Avenue. Cost/family: $10 for RMPBS & MASC members; $15 for non-members. For more information, call 970-254-1626.

To check out programming features and changes, go to the Rocky Mountain PBS website. Or go straight to rmpbs.org/enews where you will be able to request our automatic weekly newsletter (e-news) and monthly TV schedule (e-promo).

There are MANY ways to watch Rocky Mountain PBS content besides TV. You can stream our shows on the RMPBS website, on YouTube, on the KUVO app (where you can also stream KUVO radio live), or on the PBS and PBS Kids apps. You can also watch on Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, XBox, Amazon Prime, Hulu, iTunes and more. Learn more at rmpbs.org/anywhere.



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