A winter wonderland is gorgeous falling in crystal flakes from the sky. On your sidewalks and driveway, it’s not so pretty–especially if you are an older adult or somebody with a physical limitation.

This winter, Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado has issued a “Snow Bash Challenge” to the community of Montrose. Pick up your shovels, commit to helping seniors and disabled residents with snow removal, and compete for a $500 cash prize to be awarded at the end of the season to the volunteer who puts in the most hours. “We are recruiting individuals and teams,” Region 10 Community Living Services Director Eva Veitch said, “and we are asking them to commit to shoveling walks for those who need help when it snows. We are also asking people who need the service to let us know, sign up and fill out a waiver.”

A number of families have already formed teams, she said, as has the Montrose High School Honors Society. “The cash prize provides some motivation for non-profits to compete, and high school students can earn their community service hours,” Veitch said.

Potential volunteers are encouraged to call Region 10 at 249-2436.  And “If you know an older adult or someone with a physical disability who can use the service, give us a call,” Veitch said. “We can get a packet to you, or you can stop by and pick one up.”

Take the commitment seriously if you do choose to shovel, she cautioned, and remember that those who are working are doing so entirely as volunteers.

“It would be great for teams to have a backup in place just in case they can’t make it,” she said. “We will be assigning our volunteers to specific homes, depending on capabilities.”

The service will be a pilot program in Montrose to start, but may be replicated in more areas if successful, and may eventually include such services as spring and fall cleanups.

“The people we serve cannot afford to hire to have these things done,” Veitch said, “and they are that conscientious generation that wants to do the right things–so they will be the first ones out there trying to shovel snow and rake leaves by themselves, which could be dangerous.”