Watch your wallets when Allie’s around |

Watch your wallets when Allie’s around

Carolyn Pope/Vail DailyAllie Coppeak and Marlene Boll.

VAIL ” When Allie Coppeak is around, watch your pockets. She could work the Plaza Mayor in Madrid like a picket pocket pro.

“She has her fingers in everything, she’s intimate with all of you, she has her hands in your pockets and your pocketbooks and she knows how much your art collection is worth,” said the Vail Valley Foundation’s president, Ceil Folz. “But she goes after it with her heart.”

Friends of Allie (and she has a lot of friends) shared lunch at La Tour recently in honor of the lady who brings in the big bucks to keep the foundation’s programs going.

One thing about Allie I’ve always found fascinating… these folks she weasels all this money out of always ending up being very good friends.

There’s a reason for that; Allie is a good friend right back.

Each year, the foundation has a luncheon honoring someone who has had an impact on the International Dance Festival, which just ended.

Allie’s commitment to the Dance Festival has been unwavering since it began in 1989.

Allie has been here since 1988. She arrived to work with the Vail Valley Foundation on a contract with the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships, but was no newcomer to the valley. She’s been coming here since 1963.

The foundation jumped at the chance when the Bolshoi Ballet had the opportunity to perform in Vail after another location failed.

“Bob Knous, who was president of the foundation at that time, got a call to see if we’d be interested in the performance,” said Coppeak.

“They stayed for three days, then Madame Golovkina, the director, asked if we would consider organizing a satellite school as a branch of the Moscow Academy in Vail.”

I’m sure that took about two seconds to yes.

“People loved it,” said friend Donna Giordano, who, along with her late husband, Gil, were two of the first financial backers in the festival.

“It poured rain that first night, but no one even left the lawn. They were handing out rain ponchos for free because it rained so hard.”

The Bolshoi Academy was a fixture here until 1998, and, in 1993, the International Evenings of Dance began.

“I think that the Dance Festival bridged a gap between the athletic organizations in the community and the cultural life that we needed here in Vail,” Coppeak said. “Bravo was already here. The dance festival was the cream on top of the cake.

“It also was a continuation of a music career I had as a singer,” she added. “It’s a way of reaching out to the community and to the students in the community.”

Lissa Tyler, who worked for the Vail Valley Foundation before becoming a Realtor with Slifer, Smith and Frampton, summed it up best.

“She’s a damn good friend,” Tyler said.

Just watch your wallet when she’s nearby.

Vail, Colorado

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