Olympian with heart of gold collects gifts for sick kids


STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Around this time each year, famed Steamboat Springs Olympian Jim ‘Moose’ Barrows starts collecting toys for sick kids and their families.

It’s a tradition he started three decades ago after his son Mickey, who was 3 at the time, passed away from a congenital heart problem.

Barrows and Mickey spent a lot of time at Children’s Hospital in Denver during the boy’s three years of life. Often times Mickey would wonder about the other sick kids during the holidays, Barrows explained.

“One year we were coming home over Christmas and he was worried about all the kids he met at the hospital and if Santa would remember where they were,” Barrows said.

After Mickey’s passing, Barrows decided to start a toy drive in his son’s honor. He would collect items from folks in Steamboat Springs and bring them to families at Children’s Hospital.

“And it’s become a great ritual for all of those in Steamboat and Denver,” Barrows said proudly.

These days the program has evolved into Children Hospital’s ‘Snow Pile’ program — which provides gifts to sick kids and their parents.

“It’s been a little deal I’ve been doing for my Mickey for all those years,” Barrows said with a smile.

You can donate toys at anytime from now through Christmas at two locations in Steamboat Springs. They include:

Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty in Wildhorse Plaza
610 Marketplace Plaza
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Clubs Offices
845 Howelsen Parkway
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

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