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July 23, 2014
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High Altitude Society column: Youth Foundation's Star Dancing Gala shines

GYPSUM — On Monday evening, the Vail Valley Jet Center hosted the Vail Valley Foundation’s Youth Foundation, five professional dancers, five celebrity dancers and about 800 of their closest friends.

From the break dancing moves of Misha Moritz and Meredith Steinke moving to the percussion backbeats of hip-hop music to the graceful, ethereal moves of Sarah Will and Colin Meiring, Star Dancing Gala’s artistic director, there was something for everyone. Meiring’s dual role in the event as dancer and choreographer was applauded and prompted a standing ovation for him and Sarah Will.

The other standing ovation came in the beginning of the evening when Vail Valley Foundation President Ceil Folz dedicated the night’s Star Dancing Gala to Susie Davis for the measurable and immeasurable positive impacts that she has had on the youth in the valley.

“We want to thank her for all that she has done,” Folz said, and the crowd got to its feet in honor of Davis.


By the way, when was the last time you or anyone you know planned and executed a dinner for nearly 800 people? That is exactly what Executive Chef Hunter Smith and Marc DesRosiers, founder of Big Delicious Catering, and their talented and award-winning culinary design team did for the Star Dancing Gala. DesRosiers is a local who epitomizes loving life in the Vail Valley through his hard work and play ethic. The company tagline is “Life tastes good in Vail, Colorado.”

The theme of the evening, “Time to Shine,” refers to the Youth Foundation challenging our local youth to shine every day in school and in life. Melissa Rewold-Thuon, the Foundation’s vice president of education, thanked all the gala patron sponsors, including Ann Smead and Michael Byram and the evening’s hosts, Amy and Steve Coyer and Doe Browning. Rewold-Thuon spoke about the many programs of the Youth Foundation.

“All of our programs work together to ensure that our children grow and develop into productive and contributing citizens of our community,” she said.

Retired U.S. Alpine Ski Team member Chad Fleischer and his wife, Renee, who is a former Denver Broncos cheerleader, performed a salsa dance for the crowd.

“Giving back to the Youth Foundation is very special to me because I grew up here as a kid. You are a product of your environment ... and, if you grow up in the very best environment that we can provide for our kids, then they will give that back,” Chad said.

“I know that the kid’s futures will be better for it,” said celebrity dancer Donna Martin.

Aldo Radamus added, “We are so fortunate to live in a community that is so supportive of the future of our kids. It is critical for our own viability and vibrancy as a community to do these things for our children.”

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Betty Ann Woodland covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, galas and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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The VailDaily Updated Jul 23, 2014 08:31PM Published Jul 23, 2014 12:58PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.