Author's Image
Posted on
A truckload of donations headed to Boulder thanks to a volunteer.

All photos courtesy of Dave Gardner

You likely already know that as 2021 drew to a close, a massive wildfire began sweeping through the Boulder, Colorado area. A softly laid blanket of several inches of snow that fell between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day stopped the Marshall Fire from spreading further, but in its wake it left more than 6,000 acres scorched and destroyed nearly 1,000 homes.

While rescue and recovery efforts are still underway, U.S. and Colorado government officials project that it may be the 10th costliest fire in US history, causing as much as $1 billion or more in just residential losses.

President Joe Biden, along with First Lady Jill Biden, toured the region Friday, Jan. 7, as he had done in the face of the fires that ravaged Idaho and California in September and in December in Kentucky after tornadoes ripped through the state. In the role of consoler-in-chief, Biden told those gathered in a recreation center in Louisville, Colorado, “Not only are you helping each other but we’re here with you, we’re not going to go away. I intend to do what ever it takes as long as it takes to support you.”

In advance of the trip, Biden pledged to make federal funding available to aid in local and state recovery efforts. And Coloradans have already been — and continue to be — helping each other through community-led responses, like the one at Max Taps.

Donations at Max Taps in Highland, Colorado for victims of Marshall Fire
Donations at Max Taps in Highland, Colorado for victims of Marshall Fire

Carl W. Hunt, who contributed a five-part series for the Our Towns Civic Foundation based on his book Paradoxes of Power: A Collection on Failed Leadership and How to Fix It, also wrote about Max Taps, an all-Colorado beers, wine, and whiskeys tap house located in Highlands Ranch (about 45 miles outside of Boulder), for Our Towns back in December.

Aside from highlighting local, regional, and statewide brews and beverages and playing host to regional food trucks primarily dishing out locally sourced meals, Max Taps has built up a reputation as a significant supporter of charities throughout the South Denver area. To date, the Max Taps operations have contributed more than $265,000 to benefit the families of fallen police officers, fire fighters, and others since opening their doors in 2017, which Carl covers in his Our Towns feature, and which I recommend checking out here.

Carl, who helped contribute reporting to this post, called to my attention what Max Taps’ owner Dave Gardner was doing to help support those affected by the fires.

As Carl relayed, starting up over the New Year’s Day weekend, Max Taps began collecting both clothing and other material goods as well as financial aid for the victims of the Marshall Fire. The outpouring of just the material contributions has practically overwhelmed Max Taps facilities (see pictures below), demonstrating the civic support and charitable nature of Max Taps and its patrons.

Dave told Carl that it’s too early to estimate the cash donations through the link to their website, but the amount of clothing and household goods will “take up more than an entire trailer to contain,” not to mention the amount of pickup-truck loads that have already made their way to the distribution sites near the fire.

“We have a platform with Max Taps that allows us and our patrons to help those in need,” Dave told Carl. “We love to support the community as it has also supported us so well through the pandemic. We wouldn’t have survived Covid without their support, and it’s great to be able to give back.

According to Carl’s field reporting, Odell Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado and Max Taps are teaming up to offer the entire proceeds from the retail sales of an Odell keg to the victims, showing Dave’s ability to bring even more folks together in a community’s time of need serving as an example of how a small city can have a big impact in a time of crisis and need.

Later this month, Carl will have more to come on Max Taps – including the news of the launch of the operation’s second location. But for now, you can find updates on their community support efforts on their website and social platforms here and here and here.

Donations piling up in Max Taps office
Donations filling up Max Taps’ office
Marshall Fire donations piling up in the Max Taps basement.
And in the Max Taps’ basement.
A truckload of donations headed to Boulder thanks to a volunteer.
A truckload of donations headed to Boulder thanks to a volunteer.