Hike, Wine & Dine at Beaver Creek benefits patients with cancer
Sold-out event returns to Beaver Creek tomorrow
About 15 years ago, Dr. Patricia Hardenbergh noticed some patients receiving care from the renowned Shaw Cancer Center were sleeping in their cars because they couldn’t afford lodging in the Valley. That’s when she and other volunteers began raising over $15 million to build Jack’s Place, a cancer caring house, where patients and their caregivers receive free lodging and a host of nutrition, fitness, counseling and wellness programs. Jack’s Place runs on a pay-what-you-can philosophy, but to sustain itself, it needs to raise money for its programs. Thirteen years ago, Sue Franciose helped create Hike, Wine & Dine, an annual family-friendly event that blends hiking with enjoying some of the valley’s finest cuisine and drinks.
The 13th annual Hike, Wine & Dine starts at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at Beaver Creek Mountain with a tradition of meat and veggie breakfast burritos, from Park Hyatt, as well as mimosas and coffee. As participants casually hike a moderate, 5-mile loop that Beaver Creek Resort creates just for this event, they can enjoy Swiss raclette, toasted ciabatta and figs from Rocky Mountain Raclette; chocolate and mango-passion fruit eclairs from Dang Sweets; tomato tartare crostini with micro greens from Colorado Mountain Events; wagyu meatballs from Grouse Mountain Grill; green chile from The Osprey; pork carnitas and vegetarian sopes from Beaver Creek Chophouse; and Palisade peach yogurt with toppings from Rimini Gelato. The first mile of the trail is the most challenging; it heads to the Highlands. It then passes Allie’s Cabin and heads across the mountain and down to the base of the Centennial lift, where participants can enjoy drinks from Vail Brewing Co., dessert and music.
The casual, self-paced hike takes about three hours, and volunteers at restaurant stations along the way can help arrange transportation down to the base.
“It’s a very supportive event,” chair Franciose said. “It’s a celebration of, ‘We’re here, and let’s celebrate life.'”
“The spirit of the day is very positive because everybody has been touched by cancer in one way or another, whether they’re hiking in memory of someone, have had cancer or know someone who has survived it,” said Robin Litt, Vail Health Foundation’s director of benefactor engagement programs.
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The event specifically takes place in mid-September, as the fall leaves begin to turn.
“When we came up with the idea, we didn’t want a black-tie event or a silent auction,” Franciose said. “We wanted something the whole family could be involved in. We wanted to take advantage of where we live and showcase the Valley’s amazing restaurants.”
Because everyone — including the restaurants — completely donate their time and resources, every cent raised from the $100 entry fee, as well as additional donations, benefit both Jack’s Place and supports medical technology at Shaw Cancer Center. The event raises about $150,000 a year and specifically supports Jack’s Place Spirit of Survival Program, which provides access to dieticians, physical therapists, counselors, acupuncturists, massage, fitness and more.
Hike, Wine & Dine is capped at 450 participants, and this year is sold out, but you can still make a donation to help cancer care.
“We just want people to know that during the worst time of your life, you’re not alone,” Franciose said. “We’re passionate about making a difference to those who have cancer.”
What: Hike, Wine and Dine
When: September 19 at 9 a.m.
Where: Event registration begins at 9 a.m. at the base of Beaver Creek’s Centennial Lift. A light breakfast will be served before the hike, which starts at 10 a.m.
This event is sold out of tickets. To make donations, visit vailhealthfoundation.org/event/2021-hike-wine-and-dine/e309351