Vail Daily letters to the editor |

Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily staff
Vail, CO, Colorado

Literacy Project thankful

The Literacy Project’s 10th annual luncheon was held Aug. 29 at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa. With the tremendous support of individuals, businesses, volunteers and board members, our event raised more than $ 23,000 for programs that will improve hundreds of lives through literacy education.

We had the good fortune of having Helen Thorpe as our speaker. Author of “Just Like Us” and the first lady of Colorado, Helen provided the audience with family stories that further personalized the ongoing debate over immigration.

Thank you to our corporate sponsors: Alpine Bank, Eagle Valley Library District, Eagle Valley Temps and FirstBank. We sincerely appreciate the media coverage from KZYR 97.7 radio, TV8, Vail Daily and the Vail Valley Magazine. Again, we thank Cindy Bright and TV8 for the work they did to produce our Telly Award-winning video, which highlights our programs.

The generosity of time and attention to detail by the luncheon committee made for a highly successful event. Thanks to chairs Lin Bercher and Adina Dean and committee members Sue Brandl, Ginny Forstmann, Jim Himmes, Michelle Marx and Peggy Morgan. Thank you also to Debbie King, one of our terrific volunteer tutors, and her student Ana Pacheco for their heartwarming introduction of Thorpe.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Thank you to board members Jan Attoma and Mike Brown for helping raise more money for literacy. Thank you to Kelsey Ashton, Michelle Hall and Cricket Pylman for keeping the event running smoothly and to Cookie Flaum for her generous donation of centerpieces.

Thank you to the 200 individuals who attended. Our supporters allow The Literacy Project to provide our services for free to more than 400 individuals and families annually.

We appreciate the donations for our silent auction from Alba’s Boutique, Allegria Spa, Asian Village Antiques, Base Mountain Sports, Batter, Beaver Creek Resort Co., Blue Plate Bistro, BOL, Prisca Boris of Yoga for Athletes, Church and State Optics, Columbine Bakery, Complements for Your Home, CosBar of Riverwalk, Dogma Athletica, Eagle Valley Temps, Fiesta’s, Flying Pig, Foods of Vail, Foxnut, Golden Eagle Restaurant, Michelle Hall, Happy Valley Grill, Hidden Treasures Yurt, In Your Face, Karin’s, Katherine Schmidt Photography, La Bottega, Leadfoot Linda’s, Mangat-Kuy, Moose’s Caboose, Nicky’s Quickie, Wendy Nagel, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Roxy’s, Russell’s, Jenn Steibel of Stella and Dot, Liz Sortland, Sugar High, The Golden Bear, Sheryl Odza of Mountain Sno, SteamMaster, Steve’s Dog and Cat Repair, Vail Golf Club, Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, and Zip Adventures.

In addition, we would like to thank Nicole Magistro for connecting us with Thorpe and the support the Bookworm of Edwards provides us throughout the year.

Colleen Gray

Executive director, The Literacy Project

Band of ski brothers

It seems that every year, we mourn the death of a monumental skier. Howard “Hollywood” Henderson (cofounder of Jackson Hole Air Force) recently passed away, leaving us again the idea that we are not indestructible. The wonderful part, though, is that as “ski bums,” we can continue to live the rebellious lifestyle through which the JHAF made their own, far from mainstream, and realize we are still alive. We are a band of brothers.

Watching “Deer Hunter” at 1 a.m. last night, and dreaming of the horror that men like my father and so many Americans had to endure, made one correlation for me: You never leave a man alone, and you always bring him home. Our band must play on. What we have luckily is mountains to conquer and not crazed men with guns playing Russian roulette.

We ski with men and women we trust our lives with, and that’s why it’s so hard to lose our closest ski friends. Robert De Niro (Michael) at one point in “Deer Hunter” says that he doesn’t really care about the other friends, but it’s Nick and Stevie he will take care for. Without saying, I’m sure De Niro would have saved as many as he could, but these were his pals.

Much like their band in “Deer Hunter,” I’m positive that the mambers of the original JHAF would have done anything for their pals, just as you would. There is an unspoken camaraderie that is created with ski partners. We educate, prepare and rejoice together.

We have lost another legend, but we celebrate the exciting life that skiing can provide. Skiing is not war – it is pure. It is something to look forward to.

To outsiders, sometimes this band of brotherhood can be confusing. As a friend once said to me early in my skiing, “There is no list to sign up on.” You must prove to be worthy. We trust one another with our lives for one reason – it could be gone tomorrow. Seek the float!

J.D. Caldwell


Support Local Journalism