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High altitude highlights

Carolyn Pope
Carolyn PopeBetsy Hendrickson, Joan Solon, David Mitchell, Bob Solon, Larry Hendrickson and Ellen Mitchell at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Gala honoring Allie Coppeak.
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The past year kept almost every day in my Outlook calendar full, so I’m sure that each and every one of you had more than enough to keep you busy with parties, shows and events of all kinds.

The slump in the economy was not obvious in the charitable giving here in the valley. Nonprofits thrived, with events raising astounding sums as people eagerly bid up auction items and sold out events throughout the entire year.

Some highlights included a sold-out Vail Valley Medical Dinner Dance the end of 2006, where many were left stranded in Denver with a nasty snowstorm. That didn’t stop people from bidding on dances with dashing doctors.

Cordillera’s John and Bob Solon won an award for their work for Canine Companions for Independence. Their local fundraiser at The Timberhearth Grill had people enjoying the companion of their friends and lots of furry helpers.

The Bravo Gala, chaired by Cathy Stone and Argie Tang, was a glittering 1920’s event and the International Dance Festival, now under the artistic direction of Damian Woetzel, soared to new heights.

The Youth Foundation was a forerunner in many things this year, from its first-year “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader,” to the astounding “Stargazing” event held at the Eagle Valley Jetport hanger, which brought in almost all of the founders of the organization.

Of course, shortly thereafter, one of the founders, energetic and enthusiastic Steve Fossett disappeared. He will be greatly missed as a philanthropist in our valley.

This fall, Susie Davis, the executive director of The Youth Foundation was honored as one of the 20 “Be Bold” women by the Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

Many others were honored this year, including Sandy Treat by the Freedom Park Memorial Association, Allie Coppeak by the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Erik and Kathy Borgen as Citizen’s of the Year at the Black Diamond Ball, and Susan Frampton as Volunteer of the Year.

Golf tournaments are still in vogue, with everyone from the Sonnenalp Foundation to Habitat for Humanity getting into the swing. The American Ski Classic, always a favorite, brought in celebrities to ski with locals for the programs of The Vail Valley Foundation.

I’m sure 2008 will not leave anyone disappointed. Congratulations to all of the local nonprofits on a spectacular 2007, and best wishes for an even more successful 2008.

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


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