- Nat Stein
Many are eager to make assumptions about what Nick and Bambi Venetucci would have wanted for their farm, but few are actually qualified to do so. One of them is Nick's first cousin, Mary Scuderi, who sent the letter below to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation concerning the present predicament:
Many friends have sent me articles recently, stating the [Venetucci] Farm operations have been terminated this season. I am extremely distraught to hear this, as Nick and Bambi and other family members would be too. You see I am a relative of Nick [Venetucci], who spent countless times on the farm when I was growing up in Widefield. I went to the little yellow school house which borders the farm. My father, John Janitell and Louie Pinello (cousin), were among the first [to serve] on the School Board. My years date back watching the sacrifices made by this entire [Venetucci] family so the community could share in the fresh produce grown on the ranch. Thousands of children not only learned where and how corn, asparagus and pumpkins were grown, but also saw farm animals they would never see in the City of Colorado Springs.
I experienced first hand, the importance of this farming contribution to the community by not only taking Bambi grocery shopping and helping prepare meals for the harvest workers, but seeing how valuable the ranch became in other aspects.
The Ranch helped many young teenagers and adults with hardships they experience, through Nick and Bambi's love and direction of working on the ranch. My husband was a dentist in Colorado Springs and abruptly lost his eyesight to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. He could no longer practice dentistry in the prime of his life and so Nick asked him to come sell corn and pumpkins which helped him heal with the loss of his profession.
The whole [Venetucci] family carried a heavy burden working the soil and producing food for the community over 70 years. It was Nick along with Bambi's last desires to make sure this process would continue as their legacy after their deaths. Therefore I strongly urge you to work through any difficulties which can be resolved to keep the Farm open and operating for all people in the community as it is such an important part of the community's history. Plus it is vital for children to learn about farming and where their food supply comes from today. The educational programs you have developed for these children cannot be equaled. They are such an important part of children's education. Also, there are many adults in the community that want to work and learn about crops and animals and help with the farming and children's educational programs.
I commend you on the development and improvements of the buildings on the farm. I also thank the Pikes Peak Community Foundation for keeping the original farm house in working order, which holds many happy memories for me and others while growing up in the Fountain Valley. I understand you have such an intelligent, knowledgeable, caring family living in the old farm house who oversees the daily activities there.
Nick and Bambi wanted their "Labor of Love" to continue for generations to come and that is why the Foundation was selected to continue their wishes for many more decades. You were selected to continue this farming plan, instead of other family members because they feared family would not continue the farming operations they so strongly felt should be continued indefinitely.
Therefore I urge you to make every effort possible to reopen the ranch and resume the farming operations. I am one of the last relatives that knows how important the pioneering [Venetucci] Family is to the community history of the Fountain Valley and Colorado Springs.
Thank you for your time and consideration.