Author to speak at Literacy Project fundraiser in Avon on Monday |

Author to speak at Literacy Project fundraiser in Avon on Monday

Shauna Farnell
Daily correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Eileen McDargh

AVON, Colorado – Nestled in a valley and surrounded by peaks, we sometimes don’t realize the gifts mountains have to offer – that is, the gifts that go beyond fun and recreation.

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, The Literacy Project welcomes “Gifts From the Mountain” author Eileen McDargh for its annual fundraiser luncheon on Monday at The Westin in Avon.

Internationally recognized and praised, although McDargh is an award-winning author and motivational speaker covering everything from business strategy and management to leadership and life balance – she also has a history of teaching and volunteering in California and Florida-based organizations similar to The Literacy Project.

“It was long ago and far away, but it helped me realize so much more the value of the written and spoken word,” McDargh said. “In this presentation, I want to talk about the power of language … the words that come if we pay attention to the world around us.”

This concept segues with “Gifts from the Mountain,” a book McDargh was inspired to write on a long trek through the Sierras, which was very recently made into a commercial training video filmed right here in the Vail Valley. The book and video promise “simple truths for life’s complexities” but should especially hit home with the Eagle County audience, putting a new spin on guidelines we already follow here in the mountains.

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“One lesson is to pack out your garbage – that’s something we all know when we go backpacking or hiking,” McDargh said. “But what about the garbage when you leave a relationship or a job? You need to go back and clean it up, too.”

McDargh’s overall goal is to steer her audience into realizing the positive, simple truths of a full and sometimes daunting life of work, family, communication and balance.

“In simplicity there can be great depth,” she said. “Making every word count is an art unto itself. One of my intentions is to use my book as a conversation fire starter. We don’t talk enough any more. Tweets are not conversations and emoticons are not emotions. What I want is to have the audience laugh, remember, and leave feeling encouraged and supported about their efforts. I will talk about some of the lessons a mountain has to teach us … lessons that might allow us to move with greater ease in lives that are so busy and full.”

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