Most nonprofits would kill to have a fan base as avid as Trail 2000’s.
Not only does the organization do no advertising – just a simple posting on its website – for its annual dinner and auction, but it sells out so quickly. One of the most popular items in the auction is two tickets to the following year’s event.
The event was held this year, once again, at El Moro Spirits and Tavern on Wednesday night.
The sold-out crowd of 110 wasn’t just there to enjoy the event and raise money for a favorite cause, the special fillip was that the organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. As Andrea Litzow, one of the organizers said, that’s a lot of miles, rocks, stones and sweat equity.
The party favor reflected the occasion, as guests went home with a copy of the celebratory booklet (also available at Maria’s Bookshop) reflecting the accomplishments and personalities of the first quarter century of the organization. Many of the prominent figures featured in the booklet attended the event, including Ed Zink, Mike Finney, Ned Overend and Travis Brown.
The evening started with a delicious dinner courtesy of Chef Sean Clark and his kitchen crew and served by the El Moro team, including Kris Oyler, Dave Woodruff and the restaurant’s talented wait staff.
Appetizers of bruschetta with fresh ricotta cheese and fig and onion jam or a country terrine served with house pickles, house mustard on grilled toast by Bread kept the crowd fueled as they caught up with friends made while working on our trails.
The main course featured braised Sunnyside Meat country pork ribs served with the house barbecue sauce (with garam masala and coriander), cheddar barley and braised rainbow chard. The vegetarians in the crowd got something pretty yummy, too, winter root vegetable ravioli with chèvre served with a tarragon-orange flower cream sauce.
El Moro’s scrumdiliumptious dessert of potted s’mores provided the cherry on top. I got the scoop on how they make those. First they make marshmallow fluff, using vanilla beans, and layer that in a jar, topping it with their chocolate mousse with Frangelico. Served on the side for assembling the s’mores are Dutch speculoos cookies, a spiced, salted sugar cookie.
Ending on a sugar high is always a good thing when an auction is the next item on the schedule. Mary Monroe Brown, executive director of Trails 2000, said it is the immense support from the community that makes the event possible.
Once again, Calvin and Pat Story of Treasure Auction were on hand to do the auctioneering, and I’m sure this auction was particularly fun for them because there was so much spirited bidding. Among the hottest items on the block were a full caterpillar ski trip donated by San Juan Untracked and a number of major outdoor trips and activities.
All told, the event raised about $45,000, Monroe said.
The auction committee was chaired by Shanan Orndorff and included Connie Wian, Mary Oswald, Pam Glasco, Stacey Meston, Janie Smith, Connie Gordon, Litzow and Tracy Wilde.
Trails 2000 has three goals:
To build and maintain trails. (Remember the heavy rains that washed out some trails in Horse Gulch? Trails 2000 was there as soon as the rains stopped to assess the damage and begin restoration.)
To educate trail users. (Users of our trails need to be taught and/or reminded that not only are our trails heavily used – they’re one of our areas biggest recreation draws – they’re used by all kinds of recreationists, including hikers, bikers, horseback riders, hunters and so on. And frequent reminders not to go off trail, where damage wrought on fragile ecosystems can take years to heal are also key.)
Encourage connectivity between roads, paths and trails. (A great example of this is the SMART 160 Trail, which will be similar in structure to the Animas River Trail but with segments to and through the Grandview area.)
In 2014, Trails 2000’s volunteers contributed more than 3,800 hours of trailwork on city of Durango, La Plata County, San Juan National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and private property. The funds raised Wednesday night will allow the organization to continue its work, and it is looking forward to implementing its 2015 Strategic Plan.
The Trails 2000 board is a working board, and includes Daryl Crites, John Baxter, Melissa Youssef and Terryl Peterson.
Whether you need a map, want to check out the status of a trail or have decided that after enjoying our trails, you want to give something back (either monetaryily or through physical labor), visit www.trails2000.org or www.facebook.com/Trails 2000 to learn more.
Enjoying their birthday in the lull before Snowdown madness begins are Randy Swan, Terry Swan, Aggie Owens, Liz Snow, Wynn Hammond, Leah Blackburn, Alex Kolter, Cheryl Lynn, Kitsy Williams, Esther Moore, Jim Williams and Vivian Lowe.
Every once in awhile, people tell me stories about hearing the London Philharmonic at Royal Albert Hall or “Le nozze de Figaro” at the Opera House in Vienna or maybe “La Traviata” at La Scala in Milan, and I think, “Wow, I’d like to do that someday.”
Someday is here, music lovers. Music in the Mountains and Frank Fristensky – who has already become known for his tours of the Czech Republic – have put together a trip to the republic that will run from April 27 to May 11. It includes a tour of Antonin Dvorák’s mansion with a performance and a visit to Bedrich Smetana’s museum with a small performance of his work.
Folkloric and medieval music (in the courtyard of a castle, no less) are also on the program. Fristensky is also making sure there is other culture, some free time and, of course, a visit to a Czech brewery.
They need to fill just a few more slots for the trip. The cost is $3,825 per person double room occupancy and includes most meals, all tickets and excursions, but it does not include airfare.
Visit www.musicinthemountains.org or www.tourcentraleurope.com to check out the full itinerary, and call 749-3824 to make arrangements.
Enjoying remarkably balmy weather for their January anniversaries are Jeff and Deborah Wells, Shep and Sarah Shepherd and Lou and Gay Kiene.
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