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Castle Rock family overcomes loss to give back to others

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A family that has experienced some of the darkest days anyone could imagine is now giving back.

Curtis and Emily Graves are opening their Sunshine Seven Ranch, located at 3333 Lake Gulch Road in Castle Rock, in an effort to bring light into the lives of others.

The ranch is named after the seven family members the Graves lost in tragic car accidents.

Curtis lost his wife and three teenage children in a multi-car pile-up during a blizzard in Wyoming in 2006. Emily lost her husband and two of her four daughters in a freak car crash in Idaho in 2008. Both Emily and Curtis were not with their families during the accidents.

Now, the couple is raising Emily’s two daughters and a one-year-old son they have together.They have been married for two-and-a-half years, after mutual friends introduced them to each other.

“We all go through tough things. We all experience challenges. Pain is pain. I believe we can just grow from what we experience and turn it into something good,” Emily said.

The Curtis’ came up with the idea to host a bi-annual Barn Boutique. They decided to give the money raised from their first event to a Castle Rock family whose house was destroyed by a fire on October 9th.

“The vendor fees go towards the family that we’re helping,” said Emily.

The family will also get cash from a raffle of donated gifts.

Tara and Shad Maershbecker, as well as their two kids, have been out of their home for a month after a fire at a neighbor’s house spread to theirs.

“It’s amazing. We are very blessed that she contacted us and picked our family out of everyone in Castle Rock,” Tara said.

The Curtis’ fundraiser is a way to pay it forward and give back to others, even though they have both lost so much.

“We’re in a good place now. It’s hard. It’s taken a while to get to that place,” Emily said.

The Graves will open their barn twice a year to benefit a family in need. The next Barn Boutique sale will be in May.