High Altitude Society: Vail Valley Foundation’s Black Diamond Ball fete of fetes | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: Vail Valley Foundation’s Black Diamond Ball fete of fetes

Kerry Shannon Pearson, Mary Sue Shannon, Elaine Kelton and Pam Pennington share a moment at the Vail Valley Foundation’s 17th annual Black Diamond Ball during the Birds of Prey World Cup ski event.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

On Friday, as the Vail Valley was still buzzing with energy from the excitement of the FIS Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek Resort, the grand property of The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch hosted a soiree of epic proportions.

Mike Imhof, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Foundation, was thankful for the generosity at the annual Black Diamond Ball charitable event.

“We are very grateful for the exceedingly generous support. We are lucky to have such giving supporters,” Imhof said.

In the ballroom at The Ritz, with locals and visitors dressed to the nines, it was time to enjoy the fruits of many people’s efforts.

“On behalf of our board of directors and the staff of the Vail Valley Foundation, we thank you for being here. We are grateful for your generosity, your attendance and for your ongoing support,” Imhof said. “We simply cannot do what we do without you. … Events like those at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, Star Dancing Gala, GoPro Games, World Cup races … and the Vail International Dance Festival — none of that happens and certainly does not happen well without you.”

Of course, Imhof would not forget to give a special thanks to the hard-working volunteers.

“Thank you to the Black Diamond Ball committee, who is a group of creative, resourceful and generous men and women who have worked tirelessly for six months,” Imhof said.

Imhof’s focus and passion center on where the organization has been and where it will go.

“We do a lot of amazing things,” he said. “The focus now is to do everything we do today, but better. … We want to make sure we do all that exceptionally well and better than ever.”

The Black Diamond Ball’s proceeds benefit the Foundation’s initiatives in arts, athletics and education by enhancing and sustaining the quality of life in our mountain community. The Black Diamond Ball is known to be the most fun you can have in a black tie, and it is an opportunity to enjoy great friends while supporting a great cause.

It was an emotional evening, with a tribute to the Vail Valley Foundation’s Arte Davies, who passed away recently and left a hole in the heart of the community. Imhof shared and toasted to Davies, “Arte has left a lasting memory with all of us.”

Pat and Pete Frechette were honored at this year’s 17th annual Black Diamond Ball with the 2015 Vail Valley Citizens of the Year Award, for their instrumental contributions to the arts, a strong desire to provide opportunities for children and a belief in stewarding our natural environment. Words shared by family members and friends to describe the couple were “visionaries, real people, down to earth, filled with humility, humor, graciousness, warmth and generosity.”

Pat Frechette was specifically honored as fiercely loyal, inclusive and meticulous. Family, friends and the community commended the Frechettes on their vision, leadership and long-standing commitment to the Vail Valley.

Visit http://www.vvf.org to learn more about the programs, events and mission of the Vail Valley Foundation.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. Reach her at bettyannw6@gmail.com.

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