Golden’s top five feel-good stories of 2019

Paul Albani-Burgio
Posted 12/31/19

Though 2019 provided plenty of challenges for the Golden community, it was also a year that gave residents a whole lot to be happy about and thankful for. From a celebration of a Golden icon to the …

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Golden’s top five feel-good stories of 2019


Though 2019 provided plenty of challenges for the Golden community, it was also a year that gave residents a whole lot to be happy about and thankful for. From a celebration of a Golden icon to the Demons' first lacrosse championship, here is a look back at five moments that put a smile on many Goldenite faces.

School of Mines celebrates Marv Kay Day

From serving four terms as Golden's mayor to spending 26 years as the School of Mines football coach, few figures have left a bigger mark in Golden history than Marv Kay. The 80-year-old Goldenite spent a portion of his youth in the city before moving back from Grand Junction to attend the School of Mines. Other than the three years he has spent in the military, Kay remained in Golden, where he also served on the city council for 12 years and spent 10 years as Mines' athletic director. He continues to serve the school by working for its non-profit fundraising arm, the Colorado School of Mines foundation. On April 11, a Marv Kay Day celebration was held on the Mine's campus to celebrate Kay's many contributions to the school and community. As part of the celebration, the Maple Plaza campus walkway was permanently renamed Marv Kay Way. Kay was also enshrined into the Colorado High School Sports Hall of Fame earlier that month.

Demons win lacrosse title

The 2019 season was a highly successful one for the Golden High School lacrosse team as the Demons made it to the state championship game. But things weren't looking too good for the team in the second quarter of that game when top seed and defending champion Cheyenne Mountain scored again to go up 7-2. But while the Demons were down, they were far from out and stormed back in the second half to tie the game at 9-9 with just 1:05 to go in regulation. The overtime period that followed wouldn't last long, however, as Senior Joe Brock scored just two minutes in to cap off the amazing rally and secure the Demons their first lacrosse championship. The win was particularly special for the two pairs of brothers on the team: Kyle and Brady desGarennes and Ben and Joe Brock. The latter two are both now members of the University of Arizona lacrosse team.

Sondra Welsh becomes the Golden Lions Club's first female president

The Golden Lions Club has been a fixture in the community since 1942. But through all those years of serving in Golden, one thing the organization hadn't had was a female president. That is until last July when Goldenite Sondra Welsh was officially installed as the club's first female president. It was a big moment for the club, which had only started adding female members in 2015 (Welsh was one of the first two). Upon taking over as president of the club, Welsh said she was hoping to use her presidency to grow the club and attract more young people to join it. Her one-year term will conclude this summer.

Colorado School of Mines students win Solar Decathlon AFRICA

Last September, seven Colorado School of Mines students traveled to Morocco. They were there not to sightsee, but rather to participate in Solar Decathlon AFRICA — a competition in which students from around the world compete to design, operate, and build a full-sized solar powered home over a five-week period.

About 30 Mines students partnered with 45 students from Morocco to plan and design the home they would enter in the competition. The students who traveled to Morocco then spent 18-hour days working with their Moroccan counterparts to build the home, which blended traditional Moroccan architecture with modern technology. The hard work paid off though, when the Mines' students and their teammates were named the competition winners. The 18 homes built for the competition, meanwhile, were to be developed into a green home village.

Organizations formed to help homeless students at Golden High

Councilors at Golden High School say they have identified 42 students at the school who are currently homeless, though they believe the actual number of such students could be even higher. But despite those numbers, teen homelessness is an issue that continues to fly under the radar, a situation that laid to the formation of two different efforts aimed at assisting teens experiencing homelessness in the Golden community. Project STAR was founded by four adult Golden residents and focuses on providing homeless teens at Golden High School with the basic necessities they don't have access to. The Green Team, meanwhile, was started by a Golden High School student and collects toiletries for homeless students.


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