Train benefits U.S. ski team |

Train benefits U.S. ski team

Don Rogers

Vail’s Andy Daly, former president of Vail Resorts and current chairman of the Train for Gold fund-raising committee for the U.S. ski and snowboard teams, is looking for donors to ride the Denver to Winter Park Ski Train Friday, Feb. 27, and then ride on the slopes with top U.S. athletes past and present.

Last year, Vail participants chipped in over $100,000 to the cause. The teams’ foundation hopes for similar support this year.

“Train for Gold is a great opportunity to honor some of our finest athletes in an event that is not only fun, but brings attention to a well-deserved cause,” Daly said.

The train leaves Denver’s Union Station at 7:15 a.m. and arrives in Winter Park at around 9:30. It heads back to Denver at 4:15 p.m.

For a $300 donation, the event gives up to 400 recreational skiers and snowboard riders a chance to support the U.S. teams and spend the day with some of the biggest American names in the sport.

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No doubt half the fun will be the train ride up, and the cause is worthy for helping the U.S. athletes chase gold.

The committee, which is based in Vail, also is seeking sponsorships for the event. For tickets and more information, call (800) 974-2226 or e-mail

Yeah, baby

Under the “had to happen sometime” category: Vail Mayor Rodney Slifer received a letter recently from the excited grandfather of a girl named after America’s favorite ski resort.

That’s right, the bouncing baby girl’s name is Mallory Vail.

She was born at 2:33 p.m. Jan. 21 back in Illinois, weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long. Her parents are Kim and Frank Fonte of Savoy, Ill.

Mallory Vail was conceived at the Sonnenalp during the young couple’s last trip to Vail, proud grandpa G. Jack Haney reports, and surely will make her first trip to her namesake next year.

Haney is a huge fan of Vail himself. He says that he and his wife have been bringing their daughters here for weeklong ski vacations for the past 20 years. His girls have remained avid skiers.

Looks like the family trend should continue. It’s awfully hard to imagine a girl named Vail skiing in some place like Whistler, after all.

Bright side

Proof of paradise comes with the annual round of calls and letters from skiers dissing snowboarders and snowboarders dissing skiers.

If you can work up a fit over this thoroughly inane subject, it’s a sure sign things can’t be too awfully bad.

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