Buddies celebrate holidays atop Vail Mountain | VailDaily.com

Buddies celebrate holidays atop Vail Mountain

Staff Report

Today, junior and senior buddies will celebrate Christmas a little early by heading up the Eagle Bahn Gondola to preview Adventure Ridge for a night of snow tubing, ice skating, laser tag and more.

Santa Claus will make a special appearance bringing gifts for the children.

“The Buddies program is grateful for the opportunity Vail Resorts has provided, bringing all of these children and their Buddies together for a yearly holiday party,” said Scott Smith, Buddies Program director. “It’s amazing to see these kids’ – and the adults’ – faces light up with excitement for this event. Adventure Ridge is our most popular event of the year.”

The Buddies Program of Eagle County will be celebrating its 21st anniversary next year. Under the umbrella of The Resource Center, the Buddies Program of Eagle County provides children ages six to 17 with adult mentors who are positive role models in their lives.

Mentors spend three hours per week with their buddies and develop a close relationship where the child has the opportunity to grow and learn from an adult. During their time together each week, buddies and their mentors attend events, participate in outdoor activities, focus on homework and spend quality time together with an emphasis placed on the child’s wishes and needs.-

“The Buddies Program is an extremely important youth program in our community and it is our pleasure to share the holiday spirit with these kids,” said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer at Vail Mountain. “The Buddies Program Christmas party provides them with an opportunity to-enjoy Adventure Ridge and spend some special time with the mentors who dedicate, in some cases, many years with these children, preparing them for the future.”

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This year there are 43 mentor matches, and another 23 children are on the waiting list in need of an adult mentor.

In addition to support by Vail Resorts, McDonald’s is offering gift certificates to the children, Starbucks is providing candy canes and cookies, Vail Movie Theaters donated movie tickets and the Vail/Eagle Valley Rotary Club has provided a donation for holiday gifts.