High Altitude Society: Roundup River Ranch hosts Serious Fun Camp | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: Roundup River Ranch hosts Serious Fun Camp

Roundup River Ranch executive director Ruth Johnson, middle, joins Dave and Kathy Ferguson, who were origional major donors of the foundation.
Photos by Steve Pope | Special to the Daily |

It’s serious, but it’s fun — Serious Fun Camp.

That’s the theme at Roundup River Ranch. Take kids with life threatening diseases, and for one week, distribute heavy doses of the outdoors, inoculations of challenges they never thought possible, and throw in some very un-hospital like food, even take away the utensils when serving spaghetti.

And what do you get? Memories that can last a lifetime. Friends that truly understand what you’re going through. Hope. And the chance for a kid to be just that … a kid. So, if you want to be touched by the resiliency of children, then help out at Roundup River Ranch.

“Camp gives me a chance to get away from my life,” said Alexander, one of the campers at Roundup River Ranch’s fundraiser held recently. “By being different, I’m normal, because we’re all different here. I rediscover who I am outside of the cancer. I lead by example and be the change I want to be in the world.”

Each year, the camp located in Dotsero hosts 1,400 campers and their families.

Honoring Supporters

At A Grateful Harvest, guests and donors experienced firsthand what campers do (minus the no hands spaghetti dinner), including arts and crafts (creating their own name tags out of wood), fishing, archery and a bean bag toss. A bonus for the grownups was an extensive wine tasting with wines donated by several neighborhoods in the community, as well as many generous liquor and wine distributors in the county.

Pete and Pat Frechette, who both passed away this year, were honored for their generosity not only to Roundup River Ranch, but several other nonprofits in Vail for their transformational support and were brought in to the Paul Newman Legacy Society.

Stuart Frith was also honored for his bike ride for Roundup River Ranch. Frith rode his bike nearly 2,000 miles from Victory Junction, a Serious Fun Camp in North Carolina to Roundup River Ranch, raising more than $100,000. Campers attend Roundup River Ranch for no charge; the camp is run entirely on donations and grants.

Local Fare

Vail Valley chefs donated their time and products to create a spectacular dinner. Chefs included Marcus Stewart, of Flame at Four Seasons; Kelly Liken; Riley Romanin, of Hooked and Revolution; David Gutowski, of Grouse Mountain Grill; and pastry chef Anne Armstrong, of Bistro Fourteen.

Wine pairings were donated by Old World Wines Co.; Regina and Kyle Fink; Andrea and Troy Modlin; Applejack Wine and Spirits; and the Iverson team of Slifer Smith & Frampton. Clay Williams, a local sommelier, paired the wines.

For more information about Roundup River Ranch, visit http://www.roundupriverranch.org.

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