MorningStar Family of Communities Work Together During Marshall Fires in Colorado
I cannot find words to express my gratitude for the outstanding teamwork and care given to MorningStar of Boulder during this evacuation. Over the top!
The MorningStar Brand was on grand display in late December when Boulder County, Colorado, was beset with the most destructive wildfires in state history. Fueled by wind gusts up to 100 mph, the fires spread wicked fast, destroying nearly 1000 homes and businesses across 6000 acres in 24 hours.
Tens of thousands of Boulder County residents were forced to flee their homes as flames spread rapidly through the towns of Superior and Louisville south of Boulder. In an abundance of caution, we decided to evacuate MorningStar of Boulder from whose front porch could be seen a horizon of blaze.
Through the dramatic 48 hours that followed, the Boulder team, Denver-based Home Office, and indeed all of our Metro Denver MorningStar communities were put to the truest test of emergency preparedness, all-star performance and magnanimous spirit. With emergency processes well-established, our team acted swiftly and calmly to move 79 residents into greater safety. Readiness began early in the day both in mobilizing a fleet of MorningStar vehicles and preparing residents.
Teams at Arvada, Parker, Wheat Ridge, Jordan and Littleton scrambled to make room for our “refugee residents” while others helped with transport. Many of them came in on their days off to help them settle in for the night. We were touched to receive calls from team members in other states, willing to drop everything and fly to our aid.
Meanwhile, Boulder’s Executive Chef together with our SVP of Wellness madly shopped retail, scooping up cots, blankets, pillows wherever they could be found. In the Home office, senior leaders made calls well into the night on the 30th, ensuring family communication was frequent and clear during this worrisome period.
Having secured the area from further threat, The Office of Emergency Management permitted our return to the community on the 31st. Eager to resettle as soon as possible (it was New Year’s Eve, after all), we diligently worked the plan backwards. There was no damage to our building.
It is no exaggeration to say this was one of our shining moments as MorningStar—a spectacular example of the Family of Communities we truly are. One Boulder team member said it well: “How welcoming and kind our other communities were to us! We always say we are ‘Sister Communities,’ but this proved that we really are. It’s so good to know we are not alone and even better to know that MorningStar = Love whatever community you’re in.”
Reaction from family members:
- “I cannot find words to express my gratitude for the outstanding teamwork and care given to the MorningStar Community. Over the top! You all are truly a blessing to me and the families of the residents…and, of course, our loved ones in your care! Please relay my unending gratitude to all your staff! We continue to pray for you all.
- “These guys evacuated their Boulder (community) in a few hours. This is a phenomenal effort. We hear all over the news when (things) goes poorly. These guys performed. I sure would like to see their effort applauded in the news!”
- “I can’t thank you enough for the care and compassion you have showed in the last 24 hours. I am sure none of us can even imagine the task that you went through to make this transition for our loved ones. Your communication and thoughtfulness is so appreciated. We continue to keep all of you and your residents as well as our Colorado families in our thoughts and prayers tonight knowing that our Dad is back home and safe.”
- “I don’t know how you did it, but you did to the benefit of all. I hope you guys get some recognition!”
We are humbled by the extraordinary dedication, orchestration and flexibility of so many colleagues. We are grateful for the Lord’s many graces and mercies throughout this harrowing experience. While we invite God into our company every day, His presence was especially felt last week.
Our continued prayers go up for the many thousands in Boulder County who suffered complete loss of property in this tragic fire.
We are Family. Our Mission is sure. We move forward in that strength in 2022.