High Altitude Society column: Pink Vail supports our community

Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily

Reflecting back on the inspirational fundraising event that is Pink Vail, I am flooded with a myriad of emotions that came up during the otherworldly extravaganza that happened on Vail Mountain on Saturday, April 2.

Our incredible community represented, with volunteers, participants and organized teams to rally together to acknowledge cancer survivorship and those that we have lost and those who are struggling with a cancer diagnosis today. There was certainly a range of emotions, from pure joy at seeing such an outpouring of support to frustration to find cures to pride in a community that cares for one another.

Promise for the future

When I think of our intimate Vail Valley and what a huge turnout there was here on a glorious bluebird sky day on Vail Mountain, with guests coming from the Front Range and beyond to support the cancer community, it is overwhelming. On this day, there was such a strong message of hope, renewal and promise for the future. It was an extraordinarily uplifting day of vitality, care and compassion, not to mention a strong show of phenomenal costumes, performance art and creativity.

You may have heard of the young lady who dyed her mother’s wedding dress pink, wore it to Pink Vail in her honor and won a costume contest. There were some bunnies, gorillas, hundreds of pink tutus, teams of coordinated sensational pink outfits and the obligatory men in dresses and bras. Suffice it to say that there are incredibly kind and caring people here in the Vail Valley who have one another’s backs.

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As Brene Brown has said, “Compassion is a deeply held belief that we are inextricably connected to each other by something rooted in love and goodness. Empathy is the skill set to bring compassion alive. Empathy is not feeling for someone, it is feeling with them.”

Pink Vail is a fundraising event to help all patients and survivors at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. The event has raised more than $2 million in the past five years. The sense of doing good and helping others was in the air.

“There was a huge contingent that found something bigger than themselves,” the Pink Vail website states. “The infectious high energy of the event is why every year, the group grows and grows. It was a day to rally the Vail Valley and the world that knows and loves it.”

Force to be reckoned with

By now, many of us know about the phenomenal effort of Team Double Stuffed, which took first place in the most funds raised by a team, with $40,000-plus, and the most funds raised by an individual. That individual first-place winner and force to be reckoned with is the illustrious Robyn Specthrie, who had the strength, energy and endurance to get through an intense personal and fundraising journey to get to that first place, raising $19,106.

“I want to thank my amazing team and all the generous donors for helping in this important cause,” Specthrie said.

Thank you, Robyn, for all that you do for your community. For more information and to donate, please visit

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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