Hijinks for heart health
For nearly three decades, FLC students raised money and made merry for the Heart Fund Drive, founded by Durango local Harry Silver in 1948.
In 1948, Durango local Harry Silver organized a fundraiser for people unable to afford cardiac care. Silver pitched the idea of a La Plata County Heart Fund Drive to Fort Lewis College, whose students quickly adopted the philanthropic opportunity. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, FLC students gradually transformed a small donation drive into an event-filled extravaganza. Ultimately, the charitable hijinks became a college tradition, raising tens of thousands of dollars and laying the foundations for the next generation of Durango merrymaking.
As federal Medicare legislation filled needs formerly served by private and public charities, the Heart Fund Drive gradually dwindled in energy. Nearly 30 years after it began, the Heart Fund Drive’s zany activities were reconstituted into Durango’s premier winter celebration, Snowdown, which launched in 1979. Silver, a victim of heart disease himself, would be amazed how one person’s gesture of hope and generosity could have such a transformative effect on FLC and the entire Four Corners region.