Vail Valley Lacrosse Club raises funds to support mission |

Vail Valley Lacrosse Club raises funds to support mission

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society

The Vail Valley Lacrosse Club held a benefit at Sauce on the Creek Family Pizzeria and Italian Eatery in Avon in May. It was a chilly evening, so many opted to stay cozy inside by pizza ovens as opposed to braving the scenic patio with big views to the surrounding mountains.

Mike Miner, Vail Valley Lacrosse Club executive director, welcomed and addressed the crowd.

“I know that there are some parents here who have coached kids since they were young and now they are seeing them play in high school,” he said. “It is a pretty special thing. When Battle Mountain plays Eagle Valley High School or Vail Mountain School and at the end of the game they are hugging each other — that is pretty special. Lacrosse has a community. Besides having this bond between lacrosse players, girls or boys, it has a culture to it that is deeply rooted in Native American history. To see kids from this valley grasping onto the sport and playing it all the way through high school, and, for some college, is a special thing. And, the thanks that I am about to put out there goes out to everyone who helps support that.”

First, Miner thanked Jen Geller (a new Vail Valley Lacrosse board member) and U-15 coach Ryan Geller for hosting the benefit at Sauce on the Creek. They have hosted three times.

Gabrie Higbie and Geller spearheaded the event planning and pulled together a successful benefit on short notice. They were thanked profusely along with the other volunteers.

“This is the biggest turnout that we have ever had for a fundraiser,” they said.

“There was a coaching turnover this year at Vail Lax as several longtime coaches moved on to the high school ranks, which is awesome for us to see. They were hard to replace and we were fortunate enough to get some great new coaches. We are so thankful for all of our coaches,” Miner said.

The Vail Lax board of directors were thanked for their commitment to the organization. Then Miner thanked all of the club sponsors including major sponsor The Steadman Clinic. In-kind donations were not overlooked.

“All the things that make this club go — like expertise, food, hotels, volunteers, discounts — all those things that don’t get recognized as much, that you pitch in from your businesses; we really appreciate all that you do.”

Brian Welch, director of lacrosse, gave the coaches kudos.

“Coaches have been a positive influence for players throughout the season and have given great feedback to me so that we can make it better at each step. It has been very beneficial for the program. Thank you for your efforts, communication and devotion to the game,” Welch said.

With that, he gave a huge debt of gratitude to his wife for supporting him in his new role as director while she cares for their young daughter.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events. She can be reached at

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