Gore Range Natural Science School "Open that Bottle" night | VailDaily.com

Gore Range Natural Science School "Open that Bottle" night

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn PopeLaura Chiappetta, J.T. Thomas, Kelly Bronfman and Alden Conner .

Opening a bottle of wine among friends is one of the most common gestures of companionship and joy. In 2006, the Wall Street Journal lauded the special events popping up around the country, saying that we all have special bottles sitting around for that one occasion that seems exactly the right time to pop the cork, but the moment never arrives. It’s a great reason to have a party and to share the darn thing, and to share the story that makes it so special. The event is held across the nation, not just in Vail, and is always the last Saturday in February.

“Open that Bottle Night celebrates more than fine wine, camaraderie and goodwill,” said Markian Feduschak. “Tonight we raise our glasses to the Science School’s 10th anniversary and to every board and staff member, volunteer, partner, business, organization, agency, participant and donor who has helped advance our mission and role in the community.”

Gore Range Natural Science School held their second such evening recently. Stories were flowing as smoothly as the wine. I brought a bottle of late harvest Auslese that was given to me by dear friends from Lech, Austria. It’s been sitting in my cabinet for a year and a half now, waiting to be shared.

“We were providing a unique opportunity in a Tuscan setting to raise money for GRNSS with friends sharing special wines with a great story,” said Holly Elliott, who chaired the event.

Honored at the event was quite possibly the youngest person to receive the Founders Stewardship Award, Tucker Cocciarella. He’s a seventh-grader who is already making an impact on the environment. His organization, Conserve and Preserve (conserveandpreserve.org), began by rescuing lost animals and returning them back into the wild. Now he educates people on how to help the environment.

He summed his philosophy in one simple statement: “One small step can make a big difference, so try to buy eco-friendly products.”

Greg Lewis of NBC and CBS fame hosted the evening. Bob Dorf was the auctioneer, selling off such items as a golf and bird-hunting package at Ballyneal Golf and Hunt Club, a cooking class for 20 at Dish! Restaurant in Edwards, a coral, diamond and onyx necklace from Squash Blossom, a serigraph by Earl Biss and two dinners, one provided by both Foods of Vail and Sam and Kelly Bronfman, and a dinner for eight with my hubby, Steve Pope.

Alpine Bank was an underwriter for the event.

Much of the money raised went toward scholarship funds for the more than 2,000 children that attend Gore Range Natural Science School, either through their own schools or through GRNSS summer programs. A GRNSS student is never turned away due to inability to pay.

Gore Range Natural Science School provides education for children and adults about the beautiful environment we live in. Their educators provide classroom and “outdoor” classroom education for virtually all the schools in the county, operate the Nature Discovery Center on top of Vail Mountain and offer programs throughout the summer for locals and tourists alike. The organization was founded by local Kim Langmaid in 1997.

For more information on Gore Range Natural Science School, visit its Web site at http://www.gorerange.org or call 827-9725.

>> To help us publicize your event, e-mail VailCarolyn@comcast.net or call (970) 748-2989.

Click on photo galleries at http://www.vailtrail.com to see more photos from this event.

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