Vail Mountain School boogies down
December 3, 2003
“The theme was to spice things up and have a good party this year,” said chairwoman Jeanne Nedrelow, a longtime Vail resident, who tracked down the disco ball from Shadows, the nightclub on the top floor of the Marriott in the 1970s and 1980s.
“The disco globe symbolized the evening,” she said. “We wanted everyone to relive the fun of the ’70s. The globe was our statement of the event.”
Vail Mountain School’s gala committee capitalized on the demographics of the parental corps, determining that John Travolta and Donna Summer might be just the thing to draw in a crowded house. Many guests traveled to South Broadway in Denver to pick up vintage duds, including Simone Carlen and Chris Moffet, or, like Dave Ferguson, surfed eBay.
Polyester was the fabric of the day for around 450 people who showed up to support the school. The humble beginnings for the first auction in 1976 helped the school make payroll, and now, the proceeds aid in all facets of the Mountain School’s academic goals.
Initial numbers for the evening were astounding – more than $440,000 was raised.
Jell-O shots and champagne were served as guests arrived and were greeted with a smashing silent auction, including the usual extensive table of luxurious items donated by Gorsuch, Ltd., as well as a full length mink, a pool table, grill, artwork and toys. The tables provided one-stop shopping for the upcoming holidays.
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Manning the “Action Auction” were Nedrelow and Tony Shawe, who slapped up post-it notes with bids as fast as they could on items that included a ski day and video analysis with former U.S. Ski Team coach Ship Woods, an autographed guitar from B.B. King, a week in St. Croix and a one-year membership at the Sonnenalp Golf Club.
After dinner, the live auction reached new heights under the command of Chris and James Deighan, who potentially have a new career in stand up comedy. They artfully commanded the audience, bringing in a record bids.
From a trip to Paris or having the senior class cook in your home, or soaring into the wild blue yonder in a MIG jet with Colonel Jack E. Wilhite, the action was non-stop.
And the annual highlight, a front row parking spot in front of Vail Mountain School was sold not just once, but three times, for $50,000 each – bringing in a cool $150,000.
“A lot of details went in to making the whole evening energetic and exciting,” said Nedrelow.