Hike, Wine & Dine at Beaver Creek to raise money for Shaw Center, Jack’s Place
If you go
What: Hike, Wine & Dine.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.
Where: Event begins with registration accompanied by mimosas, coffee and a light breakfast at the base of the Centennial Lift at Beaver Creek, followed by an easy 4 ½-mile hike, along which hikers are treated to gourmet foods provided by local restaurants. Participants end the day with a wine reception and dessert at the base of the mountain.
Cost: $100 for adults, $50 for teens, and children 12 and younger are free; proceeds benefit Shaw Regional Cancer Center and Jack’s Place, A Cancer Caring Lodge.
Hike Wine, & Dine menu
• 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill (chef Danielle Wiley) — Breakfast burritos
• Beaver Creek Chophouse (chef Ryan DeBoard) — Prime rib sliders, aged Irish cheddar, arugula and horsey cream
• The Dusty Boot (chef Jace Reed) — Brisket lettuce wraps with pickled jalapeno and shaved radish
• Green Elephant Juicery — Cold-pressed, organic, fresh juices: Cal-G Kick, Ruby and Easy Green-E
• Grouse Mountain Grill (chef David Gutowski) — House-smoked ham, Palisade peach butter and buttermilk biscuit
• The Metropolitan (chef Steven Hampton) — Smoked trout cucumber canapé and prosciutto chip
• The Osprey (chef Conor Shedor) — Smoked pork green chili and cornbread croutons
• Rimini (chef Leesa Laurienzo) — Peach yogurt gelato with assorted toppings
Cancer rips open lives, stealing away what was normal, what was routine, and replacing it with uncertainty, fear and sadness. It also has the potential to pull apart families if a mother or father, aunt or uncle, has to travel a long distance for treatment, alone and without the comforts of home or a support system of family and friends.
Jack’s Place at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center works to combat that feeling of isolation by providing a place for patients and their families to stay together during treatment. The catalyst for creating Jack’s Place came when radiation oncologist Patti Hardenbergh saw an elderly patient sleeping in his truck outside the Shaw Center, said Dr. Jack Eck, senior director of development for the Vail Health Services Foundation and namesake of Jack’s Place.
“He couldn’t find any place to stay, in the winter here, and even if there was, he couldn’t afford it,” Eck said. “So she told one of her girlfriends about it, and these are the type of women, give them an idea and get out of the way because they’ll make it happen. The board continues to this day, and it’s all run very passionately by volunteers.”
Jack’s Place operates under a pay-what-you-can philosophy, and no one is ever turned away because they can’t afford to stay, Eck said. Patients come from all over the state, and having Jack’s Place, along with a relationship with the Inn & Suites at The Riverwalk at Edwards, means they don’t have to be separated from their families during treatment.
“We don’t allow children under 16, but we do have an arrangement with the hotel over here in Edwards,” Eck said. “What they do is they discount and we pay the cost of the families to stay. So you’ll have some people with a dog that we just can’t have them here, but they’ll cover that there.”
For the past seven years, Hike, Wine & Dine, a culinary-themed fundraiser for both the Shaw Center and Jack’s Place, has helped bridge the gap and provide funds for families who can’t pay the full cost of their stay in Eagle County. Last year’s event raised close to $100,000, which equates to more than 400 nights’ stays at Jack’s Place.
“Jack’s Place — we know that it costs us about $120 a night, if you had to pay for it, but this offsets that so we don’t have to turn anybody aside,” Eck said. “We ask for $25 if you can afford it. Some people give more, and they can deduct it, and those who can’t, you’ll see checks coming in for a few dollars here and there, because these people are proud and they’re grateful for what the Shaw Center does.”
Hike, Wine & Dine
This year’s Hike, Wine & Dine takes place Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Ticket holders begin their day at the base of the Centennial Lift in Beaver Creek with mimosas and coffee before embarking upon an easy, 4.5-mile hike.
Tents are set along the trail, and at each tent, a different small-plate dish from a local sponsor restaurant is served. At the end of the trail is a culminating picnic party. Eck said there’s a lot of camaraderie that builds along the route, as cancer survivors, their friends and families and other supporters share their stories.
“Little kids will be there, parents with kids in backpacks on their backs — there’s no hurry, it’s not a race,” Eck said. “You take your time and walk along, and maybe somebody comes by that’s faster and you say hidey-ho and they walk on by.
“It’s the feeling of getting outside, and it’s not a difficult hike; you don’t have to be an athlete to do it. Which is a whole part of it, to bring people together and they all have a common event in life because they’ve had cancer. It’s pretty cool.”
Making an impact
Leo Flynn, co-owner of Green Elephant Juicery, said his establishment is participating in Hike, Wine & Dine for the first time this year, and the event was one of the first Green Elephant got behind when looking for ways to support the local community.
“We think it’s really important to be a part of the community, and with that raising money for the Shaw Center — we have a lot of patients who are in town for chemo; they come over and load up on juice when they get to gown, before they leave town,” he said. “It goes really well with what’s going on over there, with our products, the patients.”
Grouse Mountain Grill owner Nancy Dowell said living in such a small community, most of us have likely known someone who has needed the Shaw Center, and having Jack’s Place allows patients to have the important people in their lives support them during what is sure to be a trying time.
“Our community is known for rallying around those in need, and we try to be of help whenever and however we can,” she said. “Our neighbors and friends are important to us and are part of the fabric of our community. We would not even consider not being there, to be honest with you.
“I would encourage anyone to come out on Sunday, have a beautiful fall walk, some good food and enjoy the camaraderie of one another. It is such a worthy cause.”