High Altitude Society column: Black Diamond Ball aids Vail Valley Foundation | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society column: Black Diamond Ball aids Vail Valley Foundation

Maggie Rice's gorgeous, well-behaved Borzoi Russian Wolfhounds may have stolen the show at the Vail Valley Foundation's 15th annual Black Diamond Ball at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa on Friday. When asked if they were her dogs, Rice replied, "They own me."

Known to be independent, intelligent and athletic, the borzoi, which literally translates to "fast," also requires patient and experienced handling.

Might there be similar qualities found in U.S. Ski Team racing phenoms Ted "Shred" Ligety and Bode Miller, who took first and second on the podium respectfully during Sunday's giant slalom race? Like the borzoi, these racers are smart, well-trained and powerful with compact strength and streamlined grace.

'Seamless evening'

It has been a long two weeks of ski racing for the teams, staff, volunteers and even for the spectators who had to brave some frigid temperatures to watch the races this past weekend. The Vail Valley Foundation team worked tirelessly during these events. The preparations, follow through and hard work were celebrated during the Black Diamond Ball, as the Speakeasy theme tends to throw caution to the wind.

"It was a seamless evening — everything ran smoothly. The band was so good that I danced until 11. They played great tunes," said local professional dancer Colin Meiring, who should know a thing or two about dancing and dance music. Meiring was referring to the band Over Soul'd who have great vocal agility and stage presence.

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Ann Smead was honored as the recipient of the 2013 Vail Valley Citizen of the Year Award, recognizing her commitment and leadership to the community, especially in the areas of education and health care.

All proceeds from the Black Diamond Ball will benefit the foundation's extensive programming involving education, arts and athletics. As the Vail Valley gears up to host the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships, there will certainly be an emphasis in the athletics department. To learn more about the broad reach of the Vail Valley Foundation, visit http://www.vvf.org.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events, fundraisers for nonprofits and soirees of the seen and heard. She can be reached at highaltitudesociety@vaildaily.com.