First Descents Ball in Bachelor Gulch is Saturday |

First Descents Ball in Bachelor Gulch is Saturday

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” First Descents, a non-profit organization that uses whitewater kayaking and other outdoor adventure sports to promote emotional, psychological and physical healing for young adults with cancer, brings the second annual First Descent Ball to the Vail Valley on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

“Monies raised at this fundraising event will go directly to providing more opportunities for young adults with cancer to experience our programs,” said Allan Goldberg, executive director for First Descents. “Not only have programs that incorporate physical activity into therapy been shown to increase a patient’s physical strength, but have also proven to increase a patient’s overall confidence.”

The goal of the night is to raise $200,000. Tickets are now on sale.

The ball will feature musical entertainment by the Tony G Allstars featuring Efrem Towns (ET) of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and fine wine and culinary masterpieces influenced by Mark Ferguson, the executive chef of Spago at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. The live auction will include one-of-a kind items including a Livestrong jersey signed by legendary athlete Lance Armstrong, a getaway package to Las Vegas featuring dinner at two of Wolfgang Puck’s fine dining restaurants, a driving experience at the BMW driving school in South Carolina and a New York package including tickets to the U.S. Open.

“It takes approximately $1,000 for a participant to experience a First Descents program; the impact of this event is priceless provided the many the lives it could touch through the funds earned,” Goldberg said.

First Descents empowers its participants through kayaking, white water rafting, rock climbing, fishing, hiking and more. First Descents’ programs target young adult cancer survivors that are 18 to 39 years old, fulfilling a need for support of a demographic typically outside the age range of most conventional cancer support programs. Vail local and professional kayaker Brad Ludden founded the organization in 2001 with support from Nike Corporation, Vail Valley Partnership and other partners.

The Ball will take place on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are available for $175 per person or $2,500 per table. Dress is mountain elegant, and all guests are encouraged to fashion a hat as part of their alpine attire. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Whitney Bell at 845-7389 or Donations may also be made online at

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