Local favorite wins Street Beat Volvo
VAIL, Colorado – Buzz Schleper’s favorite color is black, or it is now, and as he strolled from his shop to Solaris Plaza he saw two guys wearing black beanies, he heard the word “black,” and the grand prize for this year’s Street Beat concert series was black – a brand new 2012 Volvo XC70.How could he lose?Turns out he didn’t.Schleper, the self-proclaimed “janitor” at of Buzz’s Boots & Boards and a fixture in Vail Village, mastered the fine art of Plinko playing and won the car, the season-long Bud Light Street Beat grand prize.He has travel to Denver, pick it up and pay the sales taxes, which he says he’s ecstatic to do.”I had a feeling walking up to the concert. I was even wearing my driving gloves.Before he headed over to the Funkifino show, he asked his wife if she was coming along so she could watch him win the car.Turns out that’s exactly what she did, in addition to listening to the music.Buzz wasn’t even supposed to be playing.”They drew the six names and I wasn’t one of them. I was one of the alternates. I figured I wouldn’t make it because no one would miss a shot at this,” Buzz said.But alas, someone did. They called Buzz to the stage and he started dropping Plinko pucks with the rest of them.Except …Every time before he climbed onto the ladder to drop his puck, he waved it back and forth in the bell of the sax player’s instrument.”I hoped that little sax vibe would work in my favor. So I have to give some credit to the sax player for the sweet vibe he put on my puck. He gets a ride. He might get to even drive it,” Buzz said.Working the left side of the Plinko board, Schleper was one of four players to advance, recording 70 points in the opener. In the semi-finals, he upped the ante, picking up 80 and moving into the finals against Carryn Nicholas of Avon.Nicholas was first to play in the final round, putting up a 70-point round.Schleper waved his puck in the saxophone bell, stepped to the top of the ladder, asked the audience where he should drop it and let gravity take its course.It landed on 80, but he wasn’t sure what all the cheering was about.”I thought it was a longshot. I didn’t know I won until I got down off the ladder and they handed me the key,” Buzz said. “It was such a longshot. It still hasn’t sunk in. I was thinking, ‘This is so cool, I get a chance to play Plinko.’ I would have been happy just to play,” Buzz said.He did have the presence of mind to thank the Vail Valley Foundation, the town of Vail and Volvo.They took pictures with the car and the Volvo girl.”I didn’t get a kiss, but I got a car,” Schleper said.The Vail Valley Foundation has been doing this since 1999, said John Dakin, the Foundation’s vice president for communication.Over the years it’s been BMWs, a couple Harley Davidson motorcycles, a condo in East Vail and enough money to live on for a year.It’s been a car for the last 10 years or so.In addition to Schleper and Nicholas, the evening’s contestants also included Matthew Bates of Vail, Jan Attoma of Avon, Jane Shapiro of Vail and Tania Boyd of Minturn.Prior to the Volvo grand prize Giveaway, Vail Resorts’ Echo presented $25,000 to the Vail Valley Foundation’s Youth Foundation.The Bud Light Street Beat free concert series is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.
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