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Emily Sack

Caramie Schnell

In Emily Sack’s garage is a two-and-half-foot birdcage. Inside that birdcage is a pigeon named Walter, who happened to be wandering around Brookside Condominiums one day with a broken wing when Emily decided he could come live with her family.And that is a very Emily Sack thing to do.Besides a compassion for small, helpless animals, Emily also has a broad range of talent. She has chosen to fill her life with an eclectic assortment of jobs and assignments; five different jobs to be precise.She has worked with Annah Scully since the inception of Scully’s local production company, Vail Performing Arts Academy. Emily is also the cafeteria manager at Edwards Elementary School, and she helps her husband with his maintenance company, and she works at Curves where she finds and redesigns jewelry for charity.”I graduated with my bachelor’s of fine arts from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and with Annah Scully I do what I went to college for,” Emily says. “I pay my husband’s taxes for his business and get insurance through my job at the school district, I stay healthy with my job at Curves and I do my work with jewelry for my soul.”Emily grew up in Wisconsin and she admits she’s a cheese-head (as well as a sports schizophrenic: she dresses up in Brett Farve gear and cheers for the Broncos). When Emily was only 13, her father passed away, leaving her mother to care for her, her four brothers and one sister.”I didn’t have a dad, my mom lived on veterans pay and social security,” Emily says, “and I remember the day when they were talking about getting her on food stamps and I remember my mom sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in her hand and saying, ‘I will starve and my children will starve before I take charity.'”The family banded together and the older ones got jobs and helped out, then went on to college. Emily moved to Vail from Wisconsin for what she thought would be one winter season: it’s the quintessential Vail storyone season turns into the rest of your life.”I moved here to take a job at a local fur store,” Emily says. ” But really I was on my way Hollywood. As God as my witness, I was going to be a movie star.”Instead, Emily met her husband-to-be Gene, and then her son, Benjamin came along and well, the story changed. Next month Emily and Gene will have been married 21 years.”I met my husband and when he kissed me the first time I had a revelation that we were old, sitting on a front porch together,” Emily remembers. “He has the patience of Job with me, he’s so patient and he’s very supportive of my theater work, which is a huge part of my life.”Emily has worked with Scully for years doing children’s theater in the Valley, something she loves. In her basement she has a huge storage space filled with costumes. Come Halloween, she will be renting them out, but whenever a local school needs some help with costumes or make-up or set design, Emily is there to help.”We work with kids ages seven to 17, and if you’re familiar with the one-room school house concept, that’s what happens here and I’ve never seen anything work so well.”Janet Mueller has known Emily for almost 18 years and has been privy to her artistic talents firsthand.”Emily is one of the most artistic people I know,” Mueller says. “She’s just unbelievable, she can come up with costumes that are so creative. She used to do the caroling groups and I’ve seen her do costumes for all the productions, she’s so clever, she can go to a thrift shop and while working within a budget far below what other people have she’ll come out of there with something that’ll work perfect no problem. She made me a costume out of sheets one time that looked like it was a gown when it was done.”Most recently Emily worked on the local production of “Godspell,” which was especially meaningful for her.”This last show that we did, ‘Godspell,’ was my thing,” Emily says. “I’d been begging Annah to do it for the past four years because I did it when I was in college and for me it was a real life-changing production. I got more in touch with my spiritual side and realized that anything is possible and this is going to sound really schmaltzy but anything is possible with God.”Emily’s son Benjamin is a sophomore at Vail Christian High School and for the past year-and-a-half, the Sack’s have been attending Gracious Savior Lutheran Church in Edwards. It was just a few weeks ago that Emily was confirmed in the church, a tremendous experience because, she says, she feels so at home in the congregation.As far as Emily’s dedication to making jewelry goes, she says she really gets the benefit as it keeps her soul healthy. She finds donated jewelry, from the Thrifty Shoppe in Edwards or the Rummage Sale and revamps it. She’s donated pieces to the Michael Gallagher fundraiser in Minturn and to the Vail Charitable Fund, though lately she’s set her sights on Vail Christian High School and getting them their building.”I ask people to examine their hearts and think about their finances and donate whatever they can afford,” Emily says. “Some people have paid $20, some people $200.””If anybody would like to clean out their jewelry boxes and donate to a good cause, let me know,” Emily says with a smile.Emily plans on sticking around the Valley, and on keeping up her hectic schedule, her theory being that if she slows down she’ll either get old or die, neither one of which appeals to her.And as far as that movie star dream that brought her West?”Maybe later when Ben leaves for school, and when Gene grows tired of me, which will probably be never, well, just think of Jessica Tandy, how old was she when she did ‘Driving Miss Daisy?’ I’ll just be ‘Driving Miss Crazy.’ And if that doesn’t work, I’ll just stick with my children’s theater.” VT


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