Sylvan Dale Ranch Recovery Fund'

For: Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Organizer: Kim Tarabetz
Sylvan Dale Ranch Recovery Fund' (Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch)
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 276 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

I was in Colorado for a meeting which was held at the Sylvan Dale ranch located on the Big Thompson River in Loveland, CO. Unfortunately, we had to be evacuated midway through the meeting due to the relentless rains that hit Colorado. The ranch sustained severe damage. I am now safely at home in California, but I was so touched by the amazing people at the ranch that I felt drawn to help.

If you have the chance, please visit their website and read the story of the ranch ( This beautiful family ranch was built on love. Over the years it has been everything from a refuge for troubled teens to a venue for couples to begin their married lives together, and everything in between. This is a group of people who truly have servant hearts.

The damage sustained from the flood waters is significant. Structures have been lost, bridges washed out, and the river has even cut a new path on the property. This family who has given so much love and joy to their guests is now in need of help. It is my pleasure to help them begin the journey to rebuilding Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. 

100% of your donation goes directly to the Jessup's Paypal account. I have offered to help facilitate this site as a way to help, and I am working directly with David Jessup. I witnessed the devestation first hand and it had a profound impact on me. Please understand, I do not have access to any of the funds raised. Like you, I just get to watch the donations come in to the site. If you have any questions or concerns about the legitimacy of this fundraiser, please note that Sylvan Dale has also placed a link to this fundraiser on their website.

Please make a donation here. Any amount helps. Together we can make a difference for these wonderful people.

Here are links to articles we have seen that tell Sylvan Dale's story -  

9/17/13 -

9/18/13 -

9/20/13 - Please visit Sylvan Dale's blog page. The Jessup family has shared a letter to their supporters.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 16, 2013

Posted on October 16, 2013

Hello Sylvan Dale Supporters!

I am truly amazed and humbled by the continued support that is being shown to our friends at Sylvan Dale. I wanted to share a message from Susan that was posted on Sylvan Dale's Facebook page today. 

October 9, 2013

Dear Friends,

Three weeks into the recovery after the September flood, we continue to be grateful for your outpouring of love, donations, and offers of assistance. We draw from your encouragement as we face the challenges of each day. Grateful for moderate temperatures, power, and water we wake each day ready to Cowboy Up!

We want to thank Helping Hands, an organization that has been consistently mucking out and Roger Klaussen our Mennonite friend assisting for the past two weeks with his back hoe and skid steer. Progress is slow but steady. ...

My daughter, Lisa, was here last week. We harvested the vegetables from the garden and picked all of Tillie’s roses before the cold snap hit. Saving things seem to be a priority these days. You will be pleased to know that the horses are taking good folks on trail to enjoy the beauty of the fall colors.

Our heart-felt thanks for your continued support. We will keep you posted as progress unfolds.

— Susan Jessup

Posted on September 24, 2013

Posted on September 24, 2013

Hello Friends,

As every day goes by my heart is continually filled with joy at the number of people who love and want to support the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Below is a letter the Jessup family shared on their blog. I will post a link to the blog on the main page. 

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for this amazing place and the wonderful people who share it with all of us. 

- Kim

Dear Friends of Sylvan Dale,

Shock and awe. Twice in two days.

First came the massive torrent that ripped through our beloved Sylvan Dale Ranch during the pre-dawn hours of Friday, September 13. Linda and I, and Susan and her Dave, couldn’t believe our eyes. How could another “500-year storm” happen only 37 years after the one that menaced our parents, Maurice and Mayme Jessup? This time, unbelievably, the destruction was even greater than the famous flood of 1976. You can view the damage on the video below.

Second came the torrent of support and offers to help from our guests, friends, family and community members who want to help re-create Sylvan Dale. At least two ranch guests have established social media websites for donations:

One of them is Kim Tarabetz, who was attending a conference at the ranch when the waters began to rise. She established the Sylvan Dale Ranch Recovery Fundat She wrote,

"This beautiful family ranch was built on love. Over the years it has been everything from a refuge for troubled teens to a venue for couples to begin their married lives together, and everything in between. This family who has given so much love and joy to their guests is now in need of help. It is my pleasure to help them begin the journey to rebuilding Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch." — Kim Tarabetz

Another is the Goldman family, Michael and Arlene, who stayed with us the last week of dude season. Michael wrote,

"I want to make sure that I along with other past guests and all the potential new guests get to experience the hospitality and the beauty of Sylvan Dale for years to come. The Jessup’s didn’t ask me to do this. They are proud people who wouldn’t, but when someone is hurt or needs help, family comes to their aid. Please help rebuild Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch." — Michael Goldman

(The Dining Room in the Jessup Lodge)

Michael set up another ranch recovery fund, Help Rebuild Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, at FundRazr.

Kim is from California, Mike is from Ontario. Hundreds more have offered help. One couple who married at Sylvan Dale last December want to sponsor a fund raising concert and auction. David Hart, grandson of Joyce Miller, who died of cancer after years of working at Sylvan Dale, wants to design and sell t-shirts. Many of our staff, now unemployed, continue to volunteer. Our cattle manager, “Mango” Stephens, has offered to do a fundraising Hawaiian luau. An army of people with shovels stand ready to put boots on the ground as soon as access is restored.

(The Main Bridge)

A flood of water; a flood of support. We are awed, and humbled, by both. Our spirits are lifted and our determination bolstered. But we face an intimidating task. We’ll be assessing the damage and following up with details about reconstruction.

The good news: People, and animals are safe, except for our dear old horse Mr. J, who apparently died of a heart attack the night of the Big Thompson River flood. Our Heritage Building, along with the horse barn, Susan and Dave’s house, and several cabins, are intact.

When people hike over Green Ridge, currently the only in and out of the ranch, they see emerald green upper pastures graced by a chain of ponds, waterfalls spilling off Mount Alexander, Sulzer Gulch running a new stream of clear water, and a line of trees blocking any view of the destruction along the river. A deceptive paradise.

The message to us is clear. Sylvan Dale is regarded not just as a private business, but as a kind of community treasure that people want to save for future generations.

(Jessup Lodge Debris)

If you’d like to join this rebuilding effort, the most urgent and immediate thing you can do is donate funds to the guest-created websites highlighted above. Other volunteer opportunities will come in the months ahead. And by the way, you can still fly fish in our trophy trout lakes, purchase our delicious grass-fed Heart-J beef, and perhaps before too long, take a horseback ride to view the new river bed that Nature has created.

From the bottoms of our Heart-J hearts, we thank you,

The Jessup Family-
David J and Linda
Susan J and Dave A

Posted on September 19, 2013

Posted on September 19, 2013

Thank you all so much for your generous donations. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness and love for Sylvan Dale and the Jessup family. Below is the post that was shared on Sylvan Dale facebook page this morning. It gives us a great perspective on their current status, in their own words:

Hello Friends -

First and Foremost our continued thanks for being here. The outpouring of caring we are receiving is extraordinary.

RANCH RESTORATION FUND:A special note to all of you have donated to The Ranch Restoration Fund. We hope to be able to thank each of you personally in the not so distant future. The fund is growing because of many generous donations. As of this morning we are at $12,464! :-)

We are honored and grateful that you would help us out.  Every bit will take us further down our path to recovery.

POWER was restored to our horse barn yesterday! That is a good step! Plans to get power to the main ranch is in the works. It's no easy task for sure.

DATA RECOVERY: By the end of the week, we are hopeful to see our data restored allowing us to better regroup ( barring no hiccups.) Chad our IT guy, and Mark - SDR Operations manager, have gone above and beyond to help us get up and running.  Hiking over foothills and hoofing out with computer equipment then trying to piece data back together is most likely something they couldn't have imagined for their job description.

PEOPLE AT THE RANCH - Everyone that is on ranch is doing fine. While still land-locked, they have what they need thanks to some of our SDR staff who have hiked in over the past days. Some of our employees that were stranded with the initial flooding were able to hike out, and are now at friends houses in town. Scott hiked out yesterday for supplies and Susan will hike out on Friday to see the world outside of the island of SDR. 

WATER: The waters are starting to recede, but still formidable. They have made quite a statement on the land.

YOUR RESERVATIONS: With our skeleton crew and limited communication resources, we are making every attempt to return your calls and e-mails as soon as possible.

We have hundreds of guests that are being impacted by this event. If you don't hear back from us right away, please know that we will be in touch as soon as we can. We are hopeful to have everyone minimally contacted by the end of next week. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding in this difficult time.

More updates as they become available!

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