Community raises money to pay for annual Ault Fall Festival after crook steals funds

Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-05 01:21:56-04

AULT, Colo. -- Sometimes it takes the worst in people to bring out the best, and it turns out there is no shortage of good folks in Ault, Colorado.

"To see it all gone was a punch in the gut," said Ault's Mayor, Butch White.

The decades-old Ault Fall Festival almost didn't happen. In June, the festival committee president, Robert Swanson, was arrested for stealing at least $9,000 that was supposed to be used to pay for the event.

"It was very hard for the community," said Donna Druyff.

Initially, the mayor thought they would have to cancel the event, but bad news was quickly met by a community with a big heart.

"The town hall was getting phone calls on what people could do," said Mayor White.

"Everybody started pitching in and sending donations," said Druyff.

In just a month, businesses and individuals donated more than $12,000 and people stepped up to volunteer their time. It was clear the festival would go on. 

"It is the non-selfishness of individuals to lend a hand and you don't see that a lot in larger communities," said

The festival kicked off on Friday and will run through Sunday with activities including a parade, face-painting, live music, an antique car show and games.