Vail chapel fundraiser will honor Vi Brown |

Vail chapel fundraiser will honor Vi Brown

Vail pioneer will be honored for work

Vi Brown, left, on a hike in the 1960s with sons Mike and Todd. Brown will be honored Thursday for her decades of work for Vail and the Vail Interfaith Chapel.
Special to the Daily

Many hands make light work. Vi Brown has two very busy hands that continue to have a huge impact on how the Vail community was built.

She and her late husband, Byron, moved to Vail in 1964 from Denver and never stopped moving.

Those few dozen people who were already in Vail remember the Browns arriving with young son Mike in tow to West Vail, where only about five homes were built. Byron had gotten a job working for a Denver-based real estate company selling lots in Vail.

“They needed someone to move to Vail and finish building a house, so Byron and Vi decided to plant roots here,” Mike Brown said.

Byron eventually established his own real estate company, and then worked for The Vail City Corporation subdividing land, laying water, sewer and electrical lines, and building roads. He was a volunteer firefighter (with everyone else in town) and on the ski patrol at Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Berthoud Pass.

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Vi volunteered for the schools, housed travelers and members of Ski Club Vail, and was part of the group that established the Buddy Werner League that still runs today. She ran the Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale for 53 years until 2017.

Vi was president of Ski Club Vail, its only female president, from 1976-84. She also worked at Gorsuch for 11 years, as well as the town’s information booth.

The Browns were instrumental in bringing the 1989 FIS World Ski Championships to Vail.

When the Vail Interfaith Chapel was completed in 1969, Vi saw an opportunity to give more. She taught Sunday school for nearly 10 years, held meetings and community events there, and her son Todd’s memorial service in the 1990s. She has been a member of the chapel’s board of directors since 2017.

“Vi and her family represent the ‘boots on the ground,’ ‘get’er done’ attitude that created this community,” said Becky Levi-Cohen, treasurer of the chapel’s board of directors. “The Browns never thought twice about inviting people to help support important Vail efforts, and her addition to this board has helped provide some perspective on the history and original intent behind the creation of this wonderful town amenity. The Browns were some of the first people I met in 1984, and our friendship has continued through generations.”

Vi Brown will be honored Thursday for her contributions as a pioneer of Vail at the inaugural Vail Chapel fundraiser. Proceeds from this sold-out event will benefit the chapel’s 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign that funds much-needed renovations and remodeling of the chapel buildings.

For more information about Vi Brown and the Vail Interfaith Chapel’s $10 Million 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign, go to

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