Love for the Ladies growing more each year
Vail, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK – They might wear baggy pants and loud colors, but don’t dismiss these 20- and 30-somethings as misfits.
About 120 snowboarders and a few skiers got together Saturday for the third-annual Love for the Ladies event at Beaver Creek. They hit rails and jumps in the Zoom Room terrain park, all in the name of breast-cancer awareness.
The event is the brainchild of Justine Nadherny, a 23-year-old snowboarder who wanted to show support to the cancer community as she watched her mother, Andrea Francis, deal with the disease.
“This is an event where everybody can support the fact that so many women suffer from breast cancer, and it ruins families,” Nadherny said.
Francis, who died in September, came to the event last year and was so appreciative of what her daughter had put together.
Rich Staats, a local who helped Nadherny organize the event, said the competition is just a way to bring everyone together and show support.
When Nadherny moved back to New York to go to school, she may have left the valley but her friends and the Beaver Creek park community kept the event alive.
“Our subculture needed to continue to be a part of it,” Staats said. “It shows us in a positive light. We want to be looked at for what we accomplish in the community, not for how we look – style is subjective but manners aren’t.”
Love for the Ladies has grown considerably since it began in the spring of 2009. The event raised $6,500 the first year but last year had raised that much before the event began.
That pattern repeated itself again this year, with $11,500 already raised before Saturday’s event, which was how much was raised in total in 2010.
“We’re on pace to raise $15,000,” Staats said.
What Staats is proud of is the fact that each team of four went above and beyond the $150 entry fee. Many teams raised in the neighborhood of $400, and three teams were able to raise more than $1,000, Staats said.
For competitors such as Kaylie Will, 25, of Eagle-Vail, the event is a ton of fun and it really means something different for each person.
Will’s father passed away from skin cancer, so she was happy to strap on her snowboard in the name of cancer awareness.
Team Brecken-bra, from Breckenridge, came to the event because they heard about it through friends and because they wanted to do something positive.
“Why not do it? It’s for a good cause,” Drew Hanson, 25, said. “This is a good event to come out to.”
Nadherny was grateful not only for all of the participants but for people such as Staats who helped her grow the event into what it is today.
“I was just a girl with an idea,” she said. “This is a grassroots project. It’s local people who have a vision to give back to the community.”
The bluebird day on Saturday – the first clear day in the event’s three-year history – just made her smile even bigger.
“Having a bluebird day just makes everybody so much happier,” Nadherny said. “It’s so fun.”
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.