Nobody was more excited to see the snowfall from this weekend’s storm than the attendees at the Winter Sports Foundation’s Alpenglow and Hall of Fame inductions.
It was a gathering of Purgatory oldtimers, longtime Durango Adaptive Sports Association supporters and the parents and friends of the 200 young people participating in nordic, alpine and freestyle skiing programs. Funds raised will provide coaching and training funding along with scholarships to help kids from all income levels participate in winter sports and “do something great,” as DWSF President Mike Elliott puts it.
Purgy’s chef, Dan Furlong, managed to get almost all of the food for dinner – prime rib, asparagus with hollandaise sauce and salad, with sweets for afters – donated by suppliers, while Tito’s Vodka provided the potent potable for some enticing cocktails and Ska Brewing Co’s brews were available for those imbibing something a little lighter.
The centerpiece of the evening, was, of course, the induction of the new Durango Winter Sports Hall of Fame, and it might well have been the most emotional induction in the hall of fame’s nine years.
The three inductees were Dave Spencer, founder of what is now Adaptive Sports, who died in 1986; his co-founder, friend and world-class athlete Lana Jo Chapin; and their student and even more highly decorated competitor Mary Riddell.
All three should be an inspiration to all of us, able-bodied and disabled, to get out there and live with gusto.
Spencer, who died far too young at age 26, “was a fantastic skier,” someone from the audience said. Friend Kristin Hilliard accepted on his behalf.
Unfortunately, because of her 93-year-old father’s illness, Chapin was unable to attend, but Susan Kroes, who was the executive director of Adaptive Sports in the early 1990s, accepted for her. Chapin was a member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team from 1984 to 1989, medaling at both the 1984 and 1988 Paralympics and the 1986 World Championships. She was also a key member of the team that trained Riddell.
Riddell had the crowd on their feet. At 34, the youngest inductee to date, she began skiing with Spencer at the age of 3. Riddell has won so many medals and awards she and husband, Joe Bowman, and new baby, Sawyer, probably had to dedicate a room in their Boulder home to them. Among them are 27 national titles, 11 World Cup individual crystal globes plus two gold, two silver and two bronze medals from the Paralympics in Salt Lake City and Nagano, Japan. The 2000 Colorado Sports Woman of the Year, she now has a beautiful marble plaque to add to her display.
Her whole family turned out to cheer her on. Kudos also go to her parents, who drove her over from Dove Creek every weekend during ski season.
Durango Granite & Marble has donated the plaques for the honorees every year.
In addition to Elliott, former Durango Winter Sports Hall of Fame inductees who attended included Ronny Yeager, Dr. Kim Furry, Dolph Kuss, Bob Griffith and Brent Brown.
The live auction had lots of fun and touching moments. Bob Oswald had pulled the wooden stove from the old Nordic Warming Center before it was destroyed. He completely rehabbed it, making it glow, and told Beth Lamberson Warren, who served as mistress of ceremonies and auctioneer, that he hoped it would bring in at least $500. There are no “at leasts” in her world, so she started the bidding at $500.
The last bidder standing was Brad Boyse, who paid $1,500 to take the wood stove home for wife, Ineka, the longtime manager of the center.
Nancy Elliott was a proud mom when the nordic lesson her son Tad Elliott donated went for $900; and two local bidders will ski and lunch with new DMR owner James Coleman and get the chance to share their hopes for the new era of Purgatory.
Donna Chase served as the ringmistress of this 10-ring circus, along with committee members Mike Elliott, Tami Duke, Allen Washburn, Gina Abbe, John Ott, Kirk Rawles, Susan Lander and Warren.
Johnna Bronson and Alison Scarpella organized a “Casino Royale” in the Durango Mountain Club, while in Purgy’s, guests were two-steppin’ to a DJ.
More than one person mentioned having so much fun they stayed out way past their bedtime. I bet it was a lucrative night for babysitters as well.
Celebrating the last of the Scorpio birthdays are Ann Casler, Sharon Harris, Maggie Scott, Judy Hook, Kathleen Duft, Jacob Rudolph, Scott Southworth, Judith Johnson, Wayne Pratt, Tim Williams, Andrew Williams, Vance Thurman, Betty Kilpatrick and Jim Hudson.
Special greetings go to Angie Beach. Hope your special day is full of merrymaking and music.
When I was a kid, I spent a summer working for my dad, Charlie Butler. A geologist, he was researching a project in Southeast Utah that year, so every Monday, we hit the road precisely at 6:15 a.m. It only took a couple of weeks for me to realize that the timing was precise because we need to arrive in Dove Creek just as the pies came out of the oven in the café there.
(How strange is it that Dove Creek shows up twice in the same column?)
For almost a whole summer, my Monday breakfast was pie à la mode – or fruit, dairy and grains, as my dad explained to my mom when I let it slip accidentally at the end of August.
I always think of that when the First United Methodist Women hold their annual Holiday Bazaar, when they tout their pie for breakfast. And this Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., is your chance to enjoy the breakfast of champions, sloppy Joes for lunch starting at 11 a.m., and all kinds of crafts, vendors, plants and a bake sale.
Once again, those nonagenarian Crafty Ladies Doris Higgins, Ernestine Brewer and Jean Pearthree will be sharing their talents with the community. As will the other members of the Crafty Ladies group, who work for 10 months creating items for the bazaar.
All proceeds go to local, national and international missions.
Tuesday was a landmark day for me in the Twitterverse. I finally hit 100 followers after lingering in the low 90s for a couple of months. Triple digits, wahoo! I have a long way to go to catch up to my colleague John Livingston, who’s on the sports desk. He has about 1,500 followers, but then, he’s tweeting game action as it happens. For sports fans, that’s irresistible.
I try to tweet breaking news, information on cool fundraisers and events and previews of upcoming stories, so if you want to help me increase my lead over John Peel in the dueling columnists competition, follow me: @Ann_Neighbors.
He may have touched the roof of the sky in Nepal, but he’s eating my dust here. Not that I’m trash talking or anything. I would never do that.
Well, hardly ever.
John and Ulys Gardella are trying not to let their anniversary celebration get lost in preparations for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Here’s how to reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 375-4584; mail items to the Herald; or drop them off at the front desk. Please include contact names and phone numbers for all items. Follow me on Twitter @Ann_Neighbors.
I am happy to consider photos for Neighbors, but they must be high-quality, high-resolution photos (at least 1 MB of memory) and include no more than three to five people. I need to know who’s who, left to right, and who to credit with the photo.
Candid photos are better than posed.