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We welcome these neighbors to our team

By CPC | January 1, 2020

Carin rejoins The Connection team of writers after a several year hiatus to stay home and raise her youngest child. Carin has lived in Castle Pines since moving from South Dakota in 2002 with her husband, Kenneth Cool. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University and a…

Holly Jolly Breakfast

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Graphic Holly Jolly Breakfast

Article and photos by Kathy Fallert On Saturday, December 14, there was a bit of an arctic chill in the air as Santa blew in from the North Pole, making a stop at The Ridge at Castle Pines for the annual Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce Holly Jolly Breakfast. Some came dressed fancy, some came…

Haven in the Pines

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Group Photo Haven in the Pines


Castle Pines Connection 10th anniversary celebration

By CPC | January 1, 2020
CPC 10th Anniversary

Photo by Julie Lamb    

Experience first-hand wintertime wonders

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo Climber at Ouray Ice Festival

By Patte Smith; courtesy photo The holidays are over, and it is time to slow down and decompress. Remember though, January and February are filled with plenty of winter fun opportunities, so take a deep breath, bundle up and head out to experience some amazing events. Golden’s UllrGrass Beer Festival (pronounced “ULL-er”) is a three-day…

Sharing a little good news

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of Terri Wiebold Firefighter

By Susan Helton; photos courtesy of Terri Wiebold Owner and publisher of The Castle Pines Connection, Terri Wiebold, lives in Parker but calls the Castle Pines community her home away from home. “I am very emotionally connected to Castle Pines, but living outside the community helps me to stay objective,” said Terri. “Plus, I can…

Unique opportunity to view works of Claude Monet at the Denver Art Museum

By CPC | January 1, 2020

By Carin R. Kirkegaard The Denver Art Museum (DAM), with the “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature” exhibit offers a perfect opportunity to step out of the cold and get exposed to the French Impressionist’s relationship with nature. The exhibit is the largest collection of Monet paintings on display in 20 years. The DAM is…

Making bows at the White House

By CPC | January 1, 2020

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Vickey Bryan   Vickey Bryan of The Village at Castle Pines spent a few days this holiday season in the West Wing of the White House decorating for the holidays. This year’s theme, “The Spirit of America,” was a tribute to the traditions, customs and history that make our…

A hopeful treatment for those with severe food allergies

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Family photo Enquist family learning treatment for food allergies

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photo courtesy of the Enquist family According to Food Allergy Research and Education, “researchers estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under age 18. That’s one in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom.” Mason Enquist happens to be one who lives with a severe…

The power of saying no

By CPC | January 1, 2020

Reading Between the Pines By Stacie Chadwick From a very early age, my parents taught me to be kind. To everyone. And I am, sometimes to a fault and so much so that with the best of intentions I get myself into trouble. I love connecting and creating in an effort to help others. It’s…

Passport for your pooch?

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Pet Corner Header

By Kathy Fallert In Europe, you can get an actual pet passport that remains valid for the life of your pet, as long as you keep their rabies vaccinations up to date. In the U.S., the term “pet passport” refers to the extra documents you need to bring along when you travel to other countries…

Cutest Pets in the Pines

By CPC | January 1, 2020


The Country Club at Castle Pines Breakfast With Santa

By CPC | January 1, 2020

Photos courtesy of the Hay family

Neighbors from Castle Pines HOA 2 celebrate the season

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of Castle Pines HOA 2 Christmas 2019

Article and photos by Carin R. Kirkegaard For more than 10 years, neighbors in HOA2 have been gathering at the local clubhouse for a holiday celebration. The evening begins with Santa and Mrs. Claus telling Clement C. Moore’s, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and then leading the children in a holiday carol sing-a-long. As dusk…

The Village Castle Pines Garden Club holiday party

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of 2019 Castle Pines Garden Club Christmas 2019

By Nancy Koontz; photos courtesy of Janice Wright Keeping with tradition, the Village Castle Pines Garden Club hosted its annual holiday brunch at Cherokee Ranch & Castle. The event was festive, each table adorned with a centerpiece made of red roses, pine cones and winter foliage. Club members hung donations on the “Garden Giving Tree”…

2019 Starbuck Holiday Party

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo Starbucks Party Caslte Pines

Photos by Nancy Koontz  

Ten years of ornaments and friendship

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of Forest Park Castle Pines Friendship

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Brooke Duran

An introduction to Thoroughly Modern Manners

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Graphic of Thoroughly Modern Manners

Thoroughly Modern Manners: Ask Mrs. Abramovitz Dear Readers, Please allow me to introduce myself and this new column. I’m Tammy Abramovitz, a 20-year resident of Castle Pines and a facilitator of modern manners. After being named one of the top 100 Best Party Hosts of 2018 by The Salonniere, a website dedicated to the art…

The new year around the world

By CPC | January 1, 2020

By Bryan Goodland Another new year is upon us. For many that means New Year’s Eve parties, fireworks and maybe even the clink of a champagne glass. However you choose to celebrate, the styles and choices you make are often based on where you live. With that in mind, here are some ways that people…

Gone for Colorado

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of CD for Juni Fisher Gone for Colorado

Article and photo by Joe Gschwendtner; photos courtesy of Juni Fisher Historical research is fascinating. One clue leads to another and remarkable stories are unearthed. Jarre Canyon west of Sedalia has plenty. Juni Fisher, award winning singer, songwriter and entertainer memorializes her colorful Sedalia heritage in her “Gone for Colorado” album. Alphonse Jarre came to…

One Good Turn offers dignification

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of girls One Good Turn nonprofit

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photo courtesy of One Good Turn     Driving around the metro area it is not uncommon to see someone at a street corner holding a sign asking for money. It happens frequently outside of Castle Pines and recently has been a topic of conversation here in the city (see related…

New Zealand: Colorado in the South Pacific

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo: Rothmans Building, Napier, New Zealand.

Article and photos by Joe Gschwendtner An exquisite hike to a special place: Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula.Our family has visited this magic land in the South Pacific frequently. We’ve tramped hundreds of miles on her world-famous tracks, lived through the Christchurch Earthquake and treated her two islands as our adventure land, writ large.…

Resolution-worthy chicken lettuce wraps

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Recipe for Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett There’s a freshness to a new year. A blank slate, a clean canvas, a whole host of new possibilities just waiting to be discovered. For many of us, the new year means resolutions, a way to re-set after a month of parties and late nights filled with overindulgence. Daylight…

Food Lab: Healthy whole grain toast with farmer cheese and honey

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Graphic with ingredients for Whole Grain Toast

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett In a food processor fitted with a sharp blade, pulse the cottage cheese for about a minute until a smooth, creamy texture is achieved. Spread a generous dollop of the cheese onto the toast and drizzle with honey. The cheese will keep in the fridge for about a week…

Prom night comes to Legacy Village

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo of Prom night at Legacy Village

By Kathy Fallert; photos courtesy of Karly Bloom Senior Studies is a team-taught class at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) that combines language arts, social studies and service-learning. The class provides students more experiential learning opportunities through field trips, panel discussions, long-term service projects and group work with 50 hours of community service required for…

John Irwin Award Winners

By CPC | January 1, 2020
John Irwin Award

Congratulations Rock Canyon High School (RCHS), Buffalo Ridge Elementary and Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) for being honored recipients of the John Irwin Schools of Excellence Award. The award is given to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievement in English, math and science. The three-year school performance framework is used by the state to evaluate schools…

Local athlete Nicole Jordan competes in Ironman 70.3 World Championship

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Photo Nicole Jordan Ironman 70.3 World Championship

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of the Jordan family Last September, college athlete and Castle Pines resident Nicole Jordan found herself figuring out how to ship a bike to Europe. She had qualified to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Since her days growing up in Castle Pines, Jordan has been a swimmer.…

Listen up: Life Kit by NPR podcast

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Graphic of NPR’s Life Kit podcast

By Lisa Nicklanovich New year, new you, right? Whether you are the kind of person who makes New Year’s resolutions or not, the new year is a fresh start. Some of us may see the new year as an opportunity to work on losing the few pounds that crept on during the holidays, or to…

Let MyFitnessPal help you stay on track

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Graphic My Fitness Pal

What’s your APPtitude? By Kathy Fallert The holidays are behind us but unfortunately, for some of us, the extra calories from big holiday meals and fun snacks may not be. MyFitnessPal by Under Armour is a free app for Android or iOS which I have found to be a great help when it comes to…

Talented Teens of Castle Pines: Your Lucky Numbers

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Graphic of Talented Teens of Castle Pines

By Steve Whitlock; photo courtesy of Aimee Buffington There is a new rock group in town. The band, Lucky Numbers, is made up of local teens. They formed over a year ago through a summer program offered by North Pines Music. During their most recent gig, the group entertained light rail commuters at Lincoln Station…

Creative Marketplace

By CPC | January 1, 2020

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Gina Luber Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) second grade students became entrepreneurs for a day with the project-based learning unit called marketplace. The unit incorporated communication and differentiation by providing the students a choice in the product they created. Students were challenged to use inquiry and critical thinking while they…

Douglas County Commissioners announce school funding decisions

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Logo Douglas County School District

Article and photo submitted by Douglas County Following a six-month public process, including collaboration with the Douglas County School District (DCSD), charter and private school leadership, and experts in school security and behavioral health, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners has announced the distribution of $10 million in one-time funds that were set aside following…

BRE Adopted families for the holidays

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Adopt A Family

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Jenna DiLoreto Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) school generously adopted 19 families this holiday season. Gifts included toys, books and clothing for children, and additional gifts and gift cards for parents flowed into BRE classrooms during December. Each classroom, kindergarten through fourth grade adopted one family, and the fifth grade…

Robots and Animals

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Robotics at American Academy

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of American Academy Since early fall, the American Academy (AA) robotic teams have been working hard on their robot models to compete in the American Academy Robotics Competition (A2RC). Students spent several hours researching, designing and applying the engineering design process to strategically plan, build, test, and improve their robot…

Sophia Sobota kills it both on and off the court

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Sophia Sobot Rock Canyon High School

By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of the Sobota family Sophia Sobota, a student athlete at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) found her love for both academics and volleyball in the Castle Pines community. Now in her senior year, Sobota is reaping the benefits of hard work, determination and focus. The Sobota family moved to…

Where’s the beef?

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Plant based meat substitute

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy Rebecca Jones Where’s the beef? That is the question many of us are asking as we visit our favorite burger joints and eateries, remembering when there was one beef option that was 100% all beef. As the population increases, food and diet trends continue to grow. There are more resources…

Kindergarten students celebrate the holidays

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Buffalo Ridge Kindergartener holidays

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Tim Ryckman Kindergarten students from Buffalo Ridge Elementary proudly kicked off the winter holiday season with their first showcase. They spent weeks learning and practicing songs about Kwanzaa, Chanukah and Christmas. Students came up with all the movements they performed along with the songs. The children held hands, swayed,…

Tell me about it

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Rocky Heights Middle School Speech competition

By Kaeli Nallathamby, student writer; Photo courtesy of Julian Bouquet In mid-November, 10 students gave their all to the judges in the Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) “Walk the Talk” speech competition. These passionate and talented students each prepared a three to five minute TED Talk speech on a topic of their choice. Each contestant…

Rocky Heights Middle School ‘Shrek the Musical Jr.’ was a mega hit

By CPC | January 1, 2020
RHMS Shrek 2019

By Alexandra Jacot, student writer; photos courtesy of Julia Rene Photo Over the years, Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) has put on countless plays and musicals. However, their last musical, “Shrek the Musical Jr.” was a huge hit with a full house all three nights. Everyone loved seeing the musical and participating in it for…

Valor High School girls cross country team achieves national goal

By CPC | January 1, 2020

By Steve Whitlock; photo courtesy of Parker Dragovich The Valor High School girls cross country team placed eighth in the nation at the Nike Cross Nationals. Going in, they were ranked 17th. Race day was very wet, muddy, and cold. While the girls are acclimated to Colorado weather, the conditions in Portland were unlike anything…

Jingling all the way to a cure

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Jingle Bell Run Castle Pines

By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photos Team Stutler gathered on December 8 in Washington Park with a total of 44 members and eight dogs, winning the largest group category at the event. There were 21 new members this year, as well as many returning members. The group was comprised of neighbors, friends, co-workers and family from…

Young artists in a big art show

By CPC | January 1, 2020
Anna Webb Timber Trail Art Show

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Wendy Wilson Showcasing artwork is important to young artists. Art brings people together and builds communities. This is why Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) art teacher Wendy Wilson encourages her students to participate in the Front Range National Arts Program (NAP). Wilson feels this is a great opportunity for her…

Resident and former NHL player gives back

By CPC | January 1, 2020
DAWG National Hockey

By Shaun Kernahan; photos by Terri Wiebold and courtesy of Jan Hejda It was the summer of 2011, Jan Hejda was a National Hockey League (NHL) free agent for the first time after six seasons in his native Czech Republic, three in Russia, and five in the NHL between Edmonton, Canada and Columbus, Ohio. When…

Volunteer Connect: A lifeline for graduating High School seniors

By CPC | January 1, 2020

By Carin R. Kirkegaard It’s here – 2020 has arrived. For those high school seniors who have been counting the years to graduation with each passing grade, it’s now only a few more months away. The Douglas County School District (DCSD), as part of graduation requirements, has every high school senior complete 20 hours of…

Snowmobiling in Winter Park

By CPC | December 30, 2019

Get your snowmobile runnin’ By Michelle Post; photo by Terri Wiebold “Get your snowmobile runnin’” are not words I ever heard growing up in Crowley, Texas. I lived in a small rural city and remember only a few winters where we received enough snow to cancel school. We received more ice storms than snow storms.…

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

By CPC | December 30, 2019

A step back in time Article and photos by Liz Jurkowski Many of us have been to Mesa Verde, where massive cliff depressions housed the buildings and homes of Native American groups who inhabited much of the southwest many centuries ago. While Mesa Verde National Park is well worth the drive to the southwestern corner…

Welcome to the neighborhood 12/2019

By CPC | December 1, 2019

By Carin R. Kirkegaard  

My Family Name

By CPC | December 1, 2019

By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Timber Trail Elementary The holiday season is such a joyous time of year spent with family, friends and loved ones. The Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) kindergarten class lesson on the family unit came just in time for the holidays. The My Family Name unit allows students to share with…

A new meaning for a traditional holiday

By CPC | December 1, 2019
Reading between the Pines

Reading Between the Pines: by Stacie Chadwick As parents, my husband and I expect our three teenage children to pull their relative weight in the family. Grades are important, chores mandatory, and the economics of a burgeoning life on their own are discussed and debated in a way that often puts five distinct personalities on…

The disappearing quarterback

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Mike Boryla enjoying life back out of the shadows in Castle Rock. By Shaun Kernahan; photos courtesy of Mike Boryla With 65,000 screaming fans at the old Veterans Stadium, Mike Boryla took his place in the huddle as the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. In an odd way, it was those moments that perfectly prepared…

Jungle Junkies

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Costa Rica welcomed American Academy students with countless adventures and experiences. Left to right: Sixth graders Cameron Eckhardt, Phillip Ullom, Ava Stotler, Kelsey Ekstrom, Abigail Williams, Isabella Bennion, Maya Liotta, Haylie Martin, Emily Sekol, Cassandra Howard, Kayla Bochynski, Aidan Parker, Christopher Bowers, Chris Todd (in front of Christopher Bowers), Daniel Jolly, Owen Williams, Grant Tatum,…

Listen Up: Kind World podcast

By CPC | December 1, 2019

By Lisa Nicklanovich A little dose of kindness can go a long way, and sometimes it is nice to be reminded of all the good in the world. The Kind World podcasts tell stories of how acts of kindness can change lives. Kind World podcasts comes from Boston’s National Public Radio news station that produces…

A week of kindness in Rachel’s Hands

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Representing quilting squares, Mrs. Martin’s class hands came together and left behind the following message for us all – “Every act of kindness weaves together, and like a patchwork quilt brings comfort, warmth and beauty to those it touches.” By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of American Academy Kindness Week is an annual tradition celebrated by…

Coach brings talent and experience home

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Allan Dyer, Castle Pines resident for 16 years, is the new baseball coach at Rock Canyon High School. Dyer has a big vision for long-needed improvements to the field and the facilities. He is excited for the community to see all the positive improvements which, he said, “are a testament to the great people who…

Creating art purely for enjoyment

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Dan Casper shared some of his beautiful artwork, which is not for sale, at the Autumn Wine Walk in The Village at Castle Pines last month. He creates the pieces in his home studio and shares them with anyone interested in viewing them. Article and photos by Nancy Koontz There is an artist living in…

BINGO with a twist

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Timber Trail Elementary bingo winner Lenya Sanford graciously accepted her bingo award from student volunteer emcees Molly McCarthy (left) and Landyn Pettis (right). By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Timber Trail Elementary October is that favorite time of year for Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) students, families and staff dressed in their favorite goblin, ghoul and…

Chicago hitman brings rodeo to Sedalia

By CPC | December 1, 2019
Graphic Wildcat Lore logo

By Joe Gschwendtner: photos courtesy of Denver Public Library The Roaring ‘20s in the Wildcat Mountains did not lack excitement. Bootlegging and gambling were rampant, especially in Larkspur, where the Feds found and busted the two largest moonshine stills in the county. Their proprietors would do 3-5 years in the pen. Perhaps the headline event…

Beef, bourbon and community

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Submitted by Tony’s Meats & Market; photos courtesy of Steph Keliiholokai Tony’s Meats & Market in The Village at Castle Pines hosted more than 100 guests for Beef & Bourbon Night – celebrating the grand opening of Tony’s new Dry Aged Meat room. Samples of Tony’s new The Butcher’s Pantry sauces were paired with a…

2019 Chanukah and Christmas celebrations

By CPC | December 1, 2019

By Patte Smith Chanukah, the Jewish eight-day, wintertime festival of lights, will be celebrated beginning Sunday evening, December 22 and continuing through Monday evening, December 30. Christmas services and worship times vary throughout December and are celebrated at area churches. Here is a list of local services for Chanukah and Christmas: Chabad Jewish Center of…

Be a blessing and adopt an angel

By CPC | December 1, 2019

The friendly front-office staff at Brandon Linn Orthodontics. Article and photo by Carin R. Kirkegaard Brandon Linn Orthodontics, a local Castle Pines business, is partnering with the Salvation Army and the organization’s Angel Tree Program to help provide Christmas for those less fortunate this holiday season. The holidays can be economically challenging for many and…

Youth Super Bowl yields champions

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Pictured right: The only girls in the third/fourth grade age group, Jordan McCrary (left), Sophia Bonnstetter (center) and Winter Keough (right) helped bring the LA Rams team to victory. Information and photos submitted by Castle Pines Athletics While the NFL pro football season is still in full swing, youth flag football in Castle Pines culminated…

LEAP expands eligibility for heating assistance program

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Information submitted by LEAP As Colorado’s winter snow rolls in, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) kicked off the 2019-20 season with expanded eligibility criteria for individuals and families needing heating assistance. Enrollment for the 2019-2020 program started November 1 and will continue through April 30, 2020. “We are grateful that a larger number…

Property tax increase on the horizon

By CPC | December 1, 2019
Logo for Douglas County CO

By Bryan Goodland Every two years, the Douglas County Assessor’s Office revalues all real estate in the county as of an appraisal date set by state law. According to Assessor Lisa Frizell, Douglas County homeowners will likely see an increase in their 2019 property tax bill, arriving in the mail in the next 6-8 weeks.…

The Food Lab: Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, and cinnamon until the mixture is well incorporated. Spread pretzels in a large roasting pan (16x13x3 inches) and drizzle with oil mixture, tossing well to coat. Bake pretzels for 30 minutes, stirring mixture every 10 minutes to ensure pretzels…

Tricks for Treats

By CPC | December 1, 2019

Legacy Village of Castle Pines residents enjoyed handing out candy while the ghosts and ghouls practiced their trick-or-treat manners. By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of Timber Trail Elementary Bundled up in their favorite Halloween costumes Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) preschool students and first graders enjoyed a walking field trip to Legacy Village of Castle Pines.…

Tennyson Center for Children and Operation Santa

By CPC | December 1, 2019

By Carin R. Kirkegaard The holiday season, for many, is met with joy and anticipation, and perhaps a dose of stress. Across the Denver metro area, there are many families that struggle through the holidays. Tennyson Center for Children (TCC), located in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, is able to bring the excitement of the…

Rock Canyon High School Fall Sports Recap

By CPC | December 1, 2019

After a long season, with most teams starting practice in the summer, Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) fall sports are coming to an end. Juliett Abbott, Bailey Kracke, and Sofia Anderson supported Bella Albers while cheering on the varsity football team in their game against Cherokee Trail August 30. Photo courtesy of Amanda Brauchler. Cheer…

Writing connects BRE and RCHS students

By CPC | December 1, 2019

By Celeste McNeil Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) fifth grade students are honing their writing skills by partnering with writing buddies from Rock Canyon High School (RCHS). The partnership, linking students from the college preparation American English class with 11-year-olds is new this year. According to fifth grade teacher Michelle Parker, each BRE student has a…

Simply having a meowy holiday time

By CPC | December 1, 2019
Pet Corner Header

This mischievous photo of “Gus” was sent in for the Cutest Pet in the Pines contest in 2016. If Gus is your cat, email editor@castlepinesconnection to receive a $25 gift card. By Susan Helton; courtesy photo A few pet safety considerations can help keep the holiday season happy for the whole family. Holiday Plants: Many…

Market day at Buffalo Ridge Elementary

By CPC | December 1, 2019

First grade students from Mrs. Byrd’s class made stuffed teddy bears, friendship bracelets and tic-tac-toe games to sell at Market Day – the culmination of their economics unit. By Celeste McNeil; courtesy photos Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) first grade students culminated their economics unit with a profitable Market Day. Serving as the fall semester showcase,…

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