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Families dance and dine

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn Pope/Vail Daily Michael and Lisa Pietrzak with Landis.
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Vail Valley Medical Center Foundation raises money for Women and Children’s Center

The event was sold-out with a waiting list, since it’s an opportunity for families to gather together all their children and, of course, those pretty co-eds have a chance to wear the gowns from sorority rush or formals.

The event was very family-oriented this year with providing special food for the kids – chicken fingers which many grown-ups tasted when their children weren’t watching. The kids made ice cream sundaes after dinner and exercised their imaginations at an art station while parents danced to Chris Daniels and the Kings. The money raised went to the hospital’s Women’s and Children’s Center.Each year, someone who has made a difference in the medical community is honored with the Golden Bear Award. A standing ovation was a sure indication of the audience’s approval as Art Kelton, president of the foundation, handed the award to Dr. Jack Eck, who has a name synonymous with the medical center’s fine service.



“His contributions to this institution have been incredible,” said Kelton.Eck has been in the Vail Valley for 34 years caring for the sick, whether they are locals or visitors. Rumor has it he still makes the occasional house call.

He started the intensive care and cardio-pulmonary units and got the hospice program started. Eck was also integral in the creation of the 3-year-old Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards.Dr. Richard Steadman, “Mr. Sports Medicine”, received special recognition from Greg Repetti, the chief executive of the Medical Center. Repetti joked that Steadman’s resume is 80 pages long.



“I spent two hours with Dr. Steadman before being hired,” said Repetti. “We talked about football and family, and I left overwhelmed with his personal humility and his vision for the future.”

Alice Ruth and Ron Alvarez, Patti and Gordon Hardenbergh, Kathleen and Jack Eck and Cheryl and Bill Jensen chaired the event. New this year, the gala committee threw in a live auction that featured unique adventures with hospital doctors, including water skiing with everyone’s favorite calendar model, Ed O’Brien. He promised to keep his clothes on.

Also on the auction list was dinner at the Ecks’ home, prepared by Larkspur’s Thomas Salamunovich and sommelier Kevin Furtado; powder skiing in Steamboat with Dr. Chip Woodland and Franz Fuchsberger; private skiing with Steadman and U.S. Ski team members Moose Barrows and Brenda Baglione; and golfing with Repetti and Dr. Wayne Wenzel.



Question: What local couple stays at the Christiania each year for three weeks? Well, we won’t name names but apparently she couldn’t live without the luxuries of her home, so she packed up trunks of china and clothing.

The Eagle Valley Library District’s speaker series takes place Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Avon Public Library. The theme of the series, “Celebrating Public Lands,” marks the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Forest Service. For more information, call 949-6797.

Vail, Colorado


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