A Cortez family received a prize from Atmos Energy on Thursday that will allow them to make their backyard a little safer.
Several representatives from Atmos presented Ka Cee, Travis and Kimberly Burton with $811 in gift cards, along with T-shirts and other merchandise, for being the winners in a statewide contest held in honor of Safe Digging Month in April. Participants in the Yard Rescue 811 contest were asked to submit a photo of their yard to the energy company’s website, and a winner was selected at random to receive the prize, intended to pay for an outdoor upgrade. The Burtons plan to use the money to build a fence around their house.
“I saw (the contest) ... and I was like, ‘Oh, might as well, we’ll never win anything, but whatever,’” Ka Cee Burton said. “I sent a picture of my backyard and a fence that I wanted to build.”
The family has several dogs, and plans to take in two small foster children this month, so Burton said she wants to build the fence that would keep animals and children from running into the street next to her mobile home.
Atomos representatives April Prout-Ralph and Penne Fugate visited Cortez to deliver the family’s prize. Public affairs manager Darwin Winfield, who visited from Greeley, said he hoped the contest it would raise awareness about safe digging.
“You might know, or have a good idea where everything is, but if you happen to cut an underground utility, there’s a fine,” he said. “This whole process is intended to remind people ... to call 811 before they dig.”
Travis Burton, a contractor, said he’s familiar with the rules and would avoid power lines when building the fence.
This is the first year Atmos, a natural gas distributor based in Dallas, has offered the Yard Rescue 811 contest. Colorado was one of eight states that participated.
“It’s exciting for the community,” Prout-Ralph said.