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A LOCAL COMPANY WITH A BIG HEART

Sometimes Andy Clark, the owner of Alliance Moving Systems, jokingly refers to his company as “a not-for-profit for profit.” Considering how he dedicates his time and resources to the community, one might almost take him seriously. Excepting that Alliance is a very successful full-service moving and storage company based in Eagle and Gypsum, with the world-wide reach that comes from being an agent of Allied Van Lines. Clark’s dedication to serving his customers is only part of what makes him tick.

He also is constantly on the look-out for ways that he and his company can enrich the community and help the less fortunate among us.

Clark moved to the Vail Valley in 1987 and started Alliance 18 years ago. He found that he was often asked to dispose of items, especially furniture, which were no longer wanted. So he began taking the pieces to his warehouse and looked for ways to give them away. He calls the program Home for Home. One of the organizations Clark works with is the Bright Future Foundation, which helps families affected by domestic violence and abuse. When a woman is attempting to start a new life, often with children in tow, and she walks in to an empty apartment, she needs furniture. And that is where Alliance comes in–turning one family’s castaways into another’s lifeline.

“Our clients donate the furniture,” says Clark. “We ask the recipients what they need and what we can do to help, and then we pitch in.” There is no money involved. Alliance does the moving and helps the families get settled in their new homes.

There are, however, pieces such as armoires and large sofas, which will only work in big homes. A few years ago, after reading in a newspaper article about the First Lutheran Church of Gypsum struggling to make ends meet, Clark contacted previous Pastor Dan Tisdel and offered to donate that furniture to the church’s yard sale. More recently, he held a sale to benefit the church in his warehouse.

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“Andy donated the furniture and the space and paid his staff for their time. He has helped us tremendously,” says Pastor Dan.

Clark’s community involvement does not stop there. He hails from Minnesota and once contemplated becoming a professional hockey player, so naturally, he translated his love for the sport into a commitment to youth hockey and started Eagle’s youth hockey program. In addition to supporting the town’s indoor rink, Clark remains committed to the 80-year tradition of creating an outdoor rink every winter in the Eagle Town Park, when he and other dads set up the rink and use fire hoses to build up the ice. From season to season the rink’s liner, sideboards, nets and other materials are stored in one of Alliance’s Allied moving trailers. Best of all, skating at the rink is free. “We have skates and helmets that kids can use, and every night we have three or four volunteers on duty,” he says. “Every kid should be able to play hockey.”

Just what spurs Andy Clark’s commitment? “I strongly believe that community matters,” he says. “And, Eagle and Gypsum are grassroots communities which generate their own institutions and where we support one another. As a resident and a successful businessman, I want to be involved in the place where I live and work.”