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Meaning of community

Kaye Ferry

Last Wednesday was a day unlike any other. It started with a memorial service for a friend, Dana Del Bosco. There have been many articles written about her and the injustice of the tragedy of someone so young, dying so early and leaving behind a 5-year-old son. By anyone’s standards, it is difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend.

The Vilar Center was filled to capacity, with the overflow sitting on the stairs. The mood moved from solemn to a roomful of laughter as friends and family remembered through their tears, a life of love, sharing, dedication and accomplishment. The minister, also a friend, provided an atmosphere that gave religious definition to a nonreligious event.

All in all, it was one of the most beautiful and personal services I have ever attended. There was not a dry eye in the house as people vowed to keep Dana and her legacy alive despite the circumstances.



But maybe it was because of the circumstances. Sometimes it takes these very awful events to make us look at our lives and re-evaluate the way we spend our time. How we often don’t slow down enough to do the things that really matter. How we always mean to get together but somehow get too busy.

With only a few hours in between, I then went to a fund-raiser for another friend, Peter Apostol. Peter became ill while on a business trip in Greece. The cost of the medical transport back to Denver was not covered by insurance, leaving a terrible financial burden for his family.



Peter is a much-valued member of the Vail business community, owning three stores in Vail Village and Lionshead and serving on the first board of the Vail Chamber and Business Association.

8150 was filled with people who wanted to show their love and support. There was an entry fee at the door, which was exceeded by many as donations poured in. A silent auction followed with hundreds of items that had been donated going for amounts often far in excess of their value. And then a live auction with the piece de resistance – Packy Walker auctioning himself off for a date only to won by Merv Lapin! The question now is who will wear the dress?

For the second time in one day, I was reminded of the great friends who live in this valley. I saw many of the same people in Vail in the evening as I had seen in Beaver Creek in the morning.



It also brought to mind this thing we call “community.” All too often we dismiss it as being nonexistent or at least waning. If either of these two events can be used as an indicator, nothing could be farther from the truth. Both were filled to the brim with caring individuals. The kind who always turn up to support members of this valley when they are in need.

It never ceases to amaze me, the generosity of this very large neighborhood that we live in. It also points out that community isn’t something that requires building a swimming pool or some other physical structure. It’s more the spirit that comes from people who have worked together for common goals and have true affection for one another.

Maybe it’s because most of us have been transported here from somewhere else that we know we really have to rely on each other in the absence of families who generally don’t live in the area. Yet to analyze this phenomena isn’t necessary. To simply acknowledge the magnitude of the emotional and financial philanthropy of the Vail Valley and say thanks is enough.

PETER APOSTOL FUND: For those of you unable to attend the fund raiser, donations can still be made. Make checks payable to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund-Peter Apostol, and mail them to the VCBA, 241 S. Frontage Road, Suite 2, Vail 81657, where they will be collected and forwarded.

SAFETY WEEK: I don’t want to develop any bad habits, but here I go again. There hasn’t been room in my column in the last two weeks to congratulate VRI on Ski Safety Week. So I’ll do it now. Their goal was to educate the community, our guests and employees. They did so in a variety of unique ways that included going on “sweep” with Ski Patrol at the end of the day, riding a snow cat with the night crew, and a participating in equipment safety checks. There were also ski and riding lessons, tips on terrain park etiquette and lectures on safety awareness. And it was all free! Anything that can be done to make the public aware of their responsibilities toward those they share the mountain with is indeed a positive step.

Cars on the Frontage Road: Saturday, 369. The use of VRI’s 200 spaces on the west day lot has helped keep Frontage Road parking at least a little in check so far this season. Unfortunately, the worse is yet to come.

Do your part: call them and write them.

To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail towncouncil@vailgov.com. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail vailinfo@vailresorts.com. For past columns, vaildaily.com-columnists or search:ferry.

Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily.


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