Vail event honors Kimberly Linn McDonald |

Vail event honors Kimberly Linn McDonald

Annah Scully
High Altitude Society
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

It was 10 years ago this month our valley lost one of its own. Kimberly Linn McDonald was only 15 years old. She was one of the most charming, athletic and talented children to ever grace our valley when she lost her life in Vail due to a medical error.

In her memory, The Kimberly Linn McDonald Foundation was established by family and friends, with the goal of creating scholarships for students like Kimberly who loved and excelled in academics, sports and theater arts.

“Kimberly was always all about helping others,” said her mother, Gayle McDonald.

The Kimberly Linn McDonald Foundation honors Kimberly’s great affection for polar bears, with the Polar Bear Affair, which aids in raising funds to help local artistic and athletic seniors as well as medical students making their futures lighter and brighter. To date the KLM Foundation has given away more than 80 scholarships for nordic, speech and debate, and a medical scholarship.

“Scholarships are awarded by application and in determining the recipients, we look at the student’s volunteer activities and how they help the community,” said Tama Levine, a foundation founder and board member.

This year a new mission for the Polar Bear Affair was introduced.

“In addition to raising funds for scholarships for our local high school seniors, we will also fundraise for a collaborative patient, family and community library resource center at the Vail Valley Medical Center, which will be called Kimberly’s Corner,” said Gayle McDonald. “It is slated to be open in February 2011.”

This year’s event was held at the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail. More than 150 attendees were treated to delicious appetizers from Tom McNeil’s Gourmet Cowboy. Brandon Linn McDonald, Maia Fastabend, and Kristen Flaherty served beverages while Cathy Nichols, Jane Comerford, Lori Fennessey, Katie Tillie and Henrietta Armbruster organized an incredible silent auction. The most popular items of the evening were the stuffed polar bears with designer ribbons tied as collars around their necks and sold by Taylor Levine-Byrd and Larkin Armbruster.

“This is just wonderful because it’s a gathering of old friends to keep the memory of a very special young woman alive,” said Judge Buck Allen.

Kimberly’s family said they are able to keep moving forward because of the great support they received from friends and family. They take comfort in knowing that the Kimberly Linn McDonald Foundation can make a difference by helping students and collaborating on an outreach program, which will educate patients, family and community.

For more information on the Foundation, a 501c3, contact Levine at 303-755-5184.

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