High Altitude Society: Vail Valley Foundation’s Black Diamond Ball a success
February 25, 2017
BEAVER CREEK — On Friday, Feb. 18, the Vail Valley Foundation held its 18th annual Black Diamond Ball at the Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek.
"We could not be more pleased to recognize Mary Sue and Mike Shannon," Foundation president Mike Imhoff said, introducing the VVF Citizens of the Year. "Since 1985, their philanthropic efforts have been far and wide, including decades worth of generous support toward the Vail Valley Foundation.
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"Michael Shannon is also one of our longest standing board members. … They have made a positive and lasting impact on our community and, most importantly, besides their generosity, they are incredibly kind, bright, magnanimous, humble and really a pleasure to work with."
"We are so grateful for the recognition tonight and really appreciate it, primarily because it comes from all of you," Mike Shannon said after taking the podium. "The Vail Valley Foundation is a fabulous organization; this is a wonderful town, and this is the embodiment of give back to the community.
"We have three generations of family members that have fallen in love with the Vail community and its people and places, and we could not be prouder to be here."
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He then honored "the real heroes who work tirelessly on all of our behalf every day to make our environment better … to make Vail an even more remarkable place."
Shannon also honored the visionaries and early founders of Vail.
"We met the real powers of Vail — Pepi and Sheika Gramshammer — and they sat us down and said, 'there is something that you need to know, we think that Vail can be a world stage. Vail is truly a place that the world comes to visit and we want it to be a place that the world comes to know.' And, so it is. The Vail Valley as we have come to know it, thanks to the efforts of VVF, is a place of superb culture, incredible athletics and excellent education."
Imhoff also introduced VVF development manager Emily Sessler, recipient of the 2016 Arte Davies Ingenuity Award.
"Though much of Emily's work is behind the scenes, she truly is the machinery behind the development engine of the Foundation," he said. "She is intelligent, hard-working and much loved by her peers."
Congratulatory thanks went out to Sessler and her co-workers. Acknowledgment also went out to event co-chairs Susan Frampton and Sheldon Andrew for their efforts in creating a festive and successful Havana Nights-themed event, with the help of committee members including Jen Mason, Sacha Kostick, Randi Alt and many others.
For more information on the mission, programs and events of the Vail Valley Foundation, visit http://www.vvf.org.
Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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