Pink Vail April 5th

pinkvail_0715Two years ago Pink Vail burst onto the scene with 683 skiers and snowboarders bedazzled in varying hues of pink, and with a focus on breast cancer. Last year, the event more than doubled in size and raised funds cancer survivor programs at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center, part of the Vail Valley Medical Center.  by Heather Hower

The event is known as the worlds’ largest ski to conquer cancer and a day when the mountain, and town, are inundated every shade of pink known to man. This is not a morose, sit-around and be sad event. This is a get-out, get-your laughter-on, find-your-most-outrageous-pink-outfit (think wigs, tutus, boas and the like) day to celebrate surviving cancer, supporting those who are still fighting or honoring those who lost their fight.

With a gentle Southern accent, Charla Blizzard explains she’s part of a club she had no desire to ever join—but it’s a club where everyone sticks together. The club? Cancer survivor. And just one of the ways members and nonmembers alike support each other is with Pink Vail, a one-day event to raise funds and awareness of cancer.

Pink Vail_ZMahone-134“It’s incredible. It’s a little club you don’t want to be in but you’re in it and all members help each other,” Charla says.

Lindsay Warner, Vail Valley Medical Center’s communications director, explains the catalyst of this event is to support survivors. When people are going through cancer, they have a lot support from families, friends and our generous community in general. Then, when they become survivors, the support wanes. The money raised from Pink Vail goes to fund the Spirit of Survival program.

“It’s hard transition to go from having so much support to being cured and (feeling like there’s) nobody around you and motivating you,” Lindsay says. Enter Pink Vail and the Spirit of Survival, which provides fitness and wellness classes, nutrition coaching, counseling, and even helps with the first, and often traumatic, hair cut.

“We have a partnership with Allegria Spa to help women get their head shaved for the first time, it’s a very emotional process,” Lindsay says. “They are certified and trained for women, all the programs and support are funding by Pink Vail.”

More than being a fundraiser, though, is all the support given and received during Pink Vail. “I cannot tell you the number of touching stories I’ve heard,” Lindsey says. There was a woman who survived cancer eight, yes 8, times and was skiing in honor of her friend in California who was undergoing a mastectomy. And the woman who just happened to be in Vail for Pink Vail and it was the first time she felt confident enough to show off her shaved head.

There are many stories, too many share, of people surviving cancer, or being there while a best friend beat it, or honoring a friend or loved one who lost the fight. Getting the diagnosis must be like a slam to the gut—deeply shocking and unbelievable but once they get their breath back, they’re ready to fight, and Pink Vail gives them the opportunity to do just that.

Pink Vail_ZMahone-163Lindsey relays this story: “The first year, we were setting up and I met a women, who said, ‘My friend died of breast cancer yesterday, this event was meant for me to be here, it helped me with my grieving process.’ Every time we do this it shows me again why we do it.”

Charla, a mother of three boys, laughs easily without any hint of anger at having had breast cancer and a double mastectomy. She is a supporter and friend, compatriot, and manages to see good in what happened to her. She has seen other friends go through cancer, and she believes by them seeing her—seeing her fight, survive and thrive—gives them a sense of calm, that things will be okay for them too.

“I really feel like phoenix rising out of ashes,” Charla says. “People can say, ‘She is still here.’ You don’t have to fear it, you fight it. It feels like this is happening, and it’s tragic,  and it’s not a thing anyone wants to go through, but it helps people realize it’s fightable.”

Pink Vail allows it to be a family event, too. The average age of the participants is 43, with the majority women but plenty of men are tough enough to wear pink too. There’s been skiers as young as 3 right on up to 83 years old—after all cancer doesn’t play favorites. One of Charla’s friend’s sons organized a team and headed up a fundraiser at his local school. Last year, her 5-year-old who is not a skier, mustered up his courage and skied all day with his mom.

“I like that our area is small and there is so much support with people reaching out and trying to help. It’s so cool to see even children committed to this,” Charla says. “The community gets together to support everyone.”

So how does it work? Participants get pledges to ski Vail Mountain. You wonder how much a one-day event can raise? Quite a bit when everyone teams up together: last year 1,319 skiers and snowboarders raised $352,000 for the Spirit of Survival. The fund raising is amazing, but it’s the support that is truly astounding.

Don’t think you will be immune to reason for the day. Everyone chokes up at the end-of-the-day ski down, when survivors and friends, doctors and participants get decked out in pink beads and don pink bibs that proclaim who they are skiing in honor of—maybe their mother passed away, or a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer, or finally being cancer free.

“The ski down is pinnacle of the day. The ski parade is in honor and remembrance of people affected by cancer,” says Lindsey. Dry your eyes, though, because the day ends later on with a concert and a Pink Après Party—a true celebration of friends and surviving.

Want to ski for good? Here’s the fine print: Check out, and put April 5, 2014 on your calendar and get ready to shred in pink. The minimum pledge amount needed to register for the event is $25 and a Vail Mountain ski pass or lift ticket is required for mountain access.

Vail Recycles: How we recycle with interactive presentations 3 part series

Join the Vail community to learn how WE recycle, with interactive
presentations from Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, and Patagonia.
Practice personal recycling by bringing clothing donations to benefit
Eagle County School District. Patagonia giveaways will be in effect!

Wednesday, April 2, 4 pm

Kristen Bertuglia, TOV Environmental Sustainability
Coordinator, discusses Vail’s new recycling ordinance, its
implementation, and its impact on our community

Wednesday, April 9, 4 pm
Luke Cartin, Vail Resorts Senior Mountain Environmental
Affairs Manager, shares how VR integrates overall waste
reduction strategies, and where we can grow positive impacts
for the local community and world at large.

Patagonia Recycles

Wednesday, April 16, 4 pm

Matt O’Connor, Patagonia guru, places a company in recycling
perspective as he tells the story of recycled materials, quality standards
in garment-making, and Patagonia’s Common Threads initiative.

YOU Recycle. Donate your gently used clothes at
Patagonia Vail Village. Today thru Wednesday, April 16.

Patagonia Vail Village
286 Bridge St. • 970-331-0836

Vail Film Festival Starts tonight with Opening night Film

If you like movies and we definitely do tonight the Vail Film Festival Starts with the Opening Night Film at the Vail Mountain School.

BEFORE I DISAPPEAR (Colorado Premiere)

Director: Shawn Christensen (USA. 2014. 98min.)                                                             

Based on the 2013 Academy Award® winning short film “Curfew.” At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year old niece, Sophia, for a few hours. Starring: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek, Emmy Rossum, Ron Perlman, Paul Wesley.


Passes will be available for purchase and pick up at the festival will call desk at the Four Seasons Vail (Thursday March 27 10am-8pm, Friday March 28 10am-6pm, Saturday March 29 10am-6pm).

Passholders are advised to arrive at least 20 minutes prior to showtime to receive priority admission. 15 minutes before showtime, if unoccupied seats remain, individual tickets will sold for $10 on a first come, first seated basis.

For More information on the Vail Film Festival

Cocktails and Canvas Wed March 26th at Alpine Arts Center

wild west day fun at 4 Eagle Ranch

wild west day fun at 4 Eagle Ranch

Don’t miss an opportunity to support the Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, horses!  Complete a horse painting with helpful, patient instruction and all materials provided.  Beverages and snacks available for purchase.

A completely unique experience here is the West! Wednesday, March 26th – Cocktails and Canvas at Alpine Arts Center in Edwards  6:30-8:30pm  Just $40/per person
Make sure to mention “Mountain Horse Rescue” in the registration notes 
(you can also register by phone and let the staff know you are part of Mountain Valley Horse Rescue).
Looking for a creative and festive night out in the company of friends? Cocktails and Canvas classes at the Alpine Arts Center create that evening for a social evening of stress free painting.
An instructor guides you through a specific demonstration of the featured acrylic painting, and you will leave with your own unique masterpiece on stretched canvas ready to display. Canvases, brushes, paints, easels, and aprons are included, and beer/wine & snacks can be purchased at the bar throughout the night.
The price of this class is $40 per person.
Please Note: Cocktails Classes are approximately 2.5 hours long, so make sure to have a snack before you come.
To register a large group, please call Alpine Arts Center at 970-926-2732.
Want to schedule a private class at the arts center or in another location, for kids or adults? Choose from any painting and give us a call to make arrangements!

Registration began for the 2014 Vail KEEN Kids Adventure Games in Vail Colorado

Registration is open for Vail KEEN Kids Adventure Race on August 6-10th 2014 in Vail, Colorado.  The adventure race includes 3 days of racing, Family Adventure Expo, Skills Clinics, Family Mud Run.

This event is for kids ages 6-14 years and features teams of 2 competing in

  • Mountain Biking
  • Hiking
  • Zip Lines
  • Tarzan Rope Swing
  • Giant Slip and Slide
  • River Tubing
  • Cargo Nets
  • Mud Pits

(Vail, Colo.)-Registration is under way for the2014 Vail KEEN Kids Adventure Games, the premier race for children ages six to 14 that features teams of two competing in mountain biking, hiking, zip lines, a Tarzan rope swing, giant Slope-n-Slide, river tubing, cargo nets, mud pits and more. Formerly the KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Race, the race is scheduled for Aug. 6 -10 in Vail, Colo. as part of a new, exciting eight-race series, the Kids Adventure Games, taking place at various locations across the nation. Adventure racers who have competed in the KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Race in previous years will experience the same great race excitement in 2014, to include three days of racing, two days of skills clinics, a Mud Run, Family Adventure Expo and more. Event details are as follows:

  • To accommodate different racing abilities, younger or beginner racers will compete on a short course on Friday, Aug. 8. Intermediate racers will compete onSaturday, Aug. 9 featuring longer, more challenging obstacles. Racing will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 10 for older, more experienced racers who will test themselves and their teammates on achallenging course. Cost for the race is $160 per team of two through June 15. After that date, the cost increases to $180 until registration ends on Aug. 1 or the race is full. Last year’s race sold out with a 30 team waiting list, so racers are encouraged to register early. Online registration is available by clicking here, or to download a registration form click here.
  • Clinics will return and offer opportunities for racers to learn and improve their skills on Wednesday, Aug. 6 and Thursday, Aug. 7. Clinics feature teamwork, race-day preparation, climbing and mountain biking. Clinics also sold out during last year’s event so early registration is encouraged. Cost for the clinics is $50 per child.
  • New in 2014, a Mud Run is scheduled for those too young to race in the games, those who are in town but do not plan on competing in the race and adventure racers with more energy left to burn. The mud run will allow kids and adults alike to get down and dirty on a one mile course and costumes are highly encouraged. Costs are $50 for a family of four (two adults and two children), $20 for those ages 15 and older or $10 for children 14 and younger who preregister for the race. Race day costs are $55 for a family of four (two adults and two children), $25 for ages 15 and older and $15 for children ages 14 and younger. The Mud Run will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 in Vail Village.
  • Returning this year, spectators and participants can enjoy the free Family Adventure Expo taking placeAug. 7-9 in Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. The expo will showcase adventure activities including rock climbing, slacklines, meet and greets with Vail Mountain Rescue Dogs, free helmet checks and learning opportunities with Vail Valley Medical Center, a spirit station from the Steadman Clinic and more. For younger athletes, not quite old enough to participate in the adventure race, the free KidSPORT Strider Cup bike race will return for ages two through five.

The Vail Kids Adventure Race was founded in 2009 by Hélène and Billy Mattison, longtime Vail locals, who worked with the Vail Recreation District to co-produce the event. After four successful summer events, IMG Worldwide and NRG Marketing joined forces with the Mattson’s to create the Kids Adventure Games and are expanding the concept on a national level. The VRD will co-produce this year’s event with the KAG event team. According to KAG organizer Billy Mattison, an experienced adventure racer who has competed and won major adventure races throughout the world, he worked with the VRD to create an event that would teach teamwork, independence, problem solving and fun. He says he’s thrilled to take the event nation-wide and allow even more kids the opportunity to challenge themselves and their friends while having a true adventure and an incredible time. “The Vail race was the pinnacle in allowing Hélène (Mattson’s wife) and I to take this event on the road and share our love and passion for adventure racing with kids all over the nation,” said Mattison. “We’re excited to continue our adventure with the Vail Rec District in Vail, while we work with our partners at IMG and NRG to allow thousands of kids each year to learn, grow, thrive, be adventurous and most importantly, have fun.”

To determine which course or race day is more appropriate for your child, please see FAQ’s at Participants must register as a team. No incomplete registrations will be accepted. All participants will receive cool SWAG from title sponsor KEEN and a variety of other sponsors.

The 2014 KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Games is presented by KidSPORT, Town of Vail and Vail Resort. Additional sponsors include the Vail Valley Medical Center, the Steadman Clinic, Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Timberline Tours, KZYR-The Zephyr and The Parent’s Handbook.

For more information on the KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Games, call the VRD’s Sports Department at 970-479-2280, or go to For more information on the Kids Adventure Games events taking place at other locations,

What is Summit County Colorado?

what and where is Summit County ColoradoSummit County is a familiar description used all the time in our local communities. Realizing not everyone knows what Summit County is, we thought a short description might help you navigate around this mountain community.

It’s a county in Colorado with a variety of towns and ski areas.

Here is what’s in Summit County

Ski areas

1. Copper Mountain

2. Breckenridge Ski area

3. Keystone Ski Area

4. Arapahoe Basin (Abasin) Ski Area

5. Loveland Ski area: although this is not technically in Summit County it’s in clear creek county- it feels part of summit county.

Towns in Summit County

1. Silverthorne

2. Frisco

3. Breckenridge

4. Dillion

* there are a few other little towns, but these are the main towns, when referencing Summit County.

Copper mountain has a village area with shops, restaurants and lodging for guests. Located on the edge of Summit County bordering Eagle County, the home of Vail Ski area and Town and Beaver Creek ski area.

Frisco is a wonderful little town off of I-70, the first exit you come to from Copper Mountain, heading west. They have a plethora of town activities and consider their mountain Copper Mountain. It’s a fantastic place in the summer with outdoor concerts and BBQ Challenges. It also has a marina in the summer since it’s sits on Lake Dillion. In the winter, there’s an adventure park making it a perfect place for families.

From Frisco, you can drive into the Town of Breckenridge. Breckenridge town sits at the base of Breckenridge Ski Area. You will be amazed at the number of shops in this town and was one of the old west, mining towns. Plenty of places to stay, eat, shop and drink.

Frisco has two exits off of I-70 one from the east and one from the west. It shares the shoreline of the Dillion Reservoir with the Town of Dillion.

Silverthorne has all the fantastic outlet shops the locals go for they’re wears. It’s from this exit you can hit shops on both the north and south side of I-70. But if you want to go to the ski resorts you head south, passing through Dillion to get to Keystone Ski area and Arapahoe Ski areas. Dillion has a quaint downtown area and a marina. Keystone is a village area with lodging, shops and restaurants and prides themselves on being the perfect places for families.

Past Keystone is Arapahoe Basin or Abasin as the locals call it. It’s predominantly a ski area with a base restaurant/bar. If you want to ski there, you can stay in Keystone, Dillion or Silverthorne.

Lastly, Loveland Ski area an incredible ski area on the top of the world. The views are unbelievable! This area is located at the top of Eisenhower tunnel just before you drop into Summit County.

Details about Keystone Ski Resort Winter and Summer

golfing with kids in keystone

photos by Bob Winsett

Keystone Resort opened in 1970 with four lifts and a small village. Today, 20 lifts and 3,148 acres are spread across three mountains. Skiers and riders can experience the cruiser runs and beginner trails on Dercum Mountain, continue to the legendary bumps of North Peak, then head into the powder stashes and solitude of The Outback. The resort also offers cat skiing, a tubing hill, gourmet restaurants, night skiing, A51 Terrain Park, world-class events, a state-of-the-art conference center, a full-service spa, a brand-new 7,200-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink, and three villages. All told, it makes Keystone one of the top-ranked year-round resorts in the country.

The fun doesn’t stop in winter: Summer options include two award-winning golf courses, nearly 60 miles of mountain biking terrain, horseback riding, fly-fishing and whitewater rafting. A variety of guided hikes covering topics from local plant and wildlife to local history and forest health education are easily accessible, as well. The resort also offers a signature summer festival series, including Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour, Bluegrass & Beer, summer Kidtopia KidsFest, 4th of July Weekend, Wine & Jazz, Taste of Keystone, weekly events for families like Discovery Days and Children’s Theatre, and more.

Please come back in the summer you will never want to leave!

More details about Keystone: What every family needs to know

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Alpine Arts Center in Edwards Colorado family activities for March 2014

art classes for kids in vailAlpine Arts is offering many new classes in March!

1.  Jewelry class for kids 6+ on Fridays from 4:00 – 5:30pm.

2.  Drawing class for ages 5+ on Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6:00pm.

3.  Acrylic painting class For teens and adults on Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:30pm.

*  If your school is closed on Monday, March 17th, we have art camp for kids ages 3 to 12!

*  Pajama party on Friday night, March 14th from 6:00 – 9:00pm where we enjoy pizza, do a fun art project and finish the evening with a movie for kids 5 and up. 

Our BIG NEWS is that Alpine Arts Center turns 4 !!!

On Friday, March 7th, we will be offering $4 drop-in activities all day long plus a Happy Hour Party from 4:00 -7:00pm.

For more information visit our website or call 970-926-2732

Breckenridge youth help town toward sustainable future.

kids activities in breckenridgeKids Make a Difference.  Breckenridge youth help town toward sustainable future.Anyone who believes kids are too young to influence public policy can discard the myth by looking at the 11 year-olds who convinced the Breckenridge Town Council to unanimously pass its Disposable Bag Fee ordinance. These kids are an inspiration to adults and children alike.  By Lu Snyder

Two years ago, the Town of Breckenridge adopted the Sustainable Breck Plan in an effort to ensure the town is sustainable into the future. As part of the plan, the town has chosen ten specific areas in which to take action, including resource conservation, transportation, water and land use. Part of the action plan involved an effort to reduce the number of disposable bags used in town.

According to research, approximately 2- to 3-million single-use bags are used each year in Breckenridge alone. While reducing the number of bags may seem like a simple solution toward a more sustainable community, the town council grappled with how to do so. They considered whether to impose a full ban or to implement fees for plastic bags, but worried that doing so would scare away the visitors so crucial to the towns economy.

kids activities in breckenridgeIn the end, it was a group of local fifth graders that convinced the council to take action.

Four students from Dillon Valley Elementary: Emilie McAtamney, Anna Rose Craig, Elsa Bates and Jacob Brewer, chose to take on the plastic bag issue as part of their Destination Imagination (DI) project. Destination Imagination is an educational competition that gives students the chance to experience the creative process from imagination to innovation.

As part of the project, the children needed to identify a need in the community and take action around it, explains Jennifer McAtamney, Emilies mother, DI team coach and Breckenridge council member.

They decided the biggest need was to do what they can to help the earth, she says. Their philosophy was that if there is no snow, then there are no tourists and then their parents have no jobs.

At the same time, the DI teammates and their classmates were studying the Declaration of Independence at school. This inspired the team to create a declaration against plastic bags and single-use water bottles, eventually turning the declaration into a petition. The fifth graders collected signatures from locals and tourists last winter, during the International Snow Sculpture Championships, a notoriously cold time of the year.

Despite frigid temperatures, the group collected 400 signatures from people around the world who said they were willing, if not eager, to discontinue the use of plastic bags and single-use water bottles.

The DI team presented its findings to the town council in April, urging the council to take action and it did; the council unanimously passed an ordinance to impose a $0.10 fee on single-use bags, including paper. (Thicker plastic bags are not included under the mandatory fee.)

The council was really grappling with this, says Kim Dykstra-DiLallo, Director of Communications for the Town of Breckenridge. Those kids came in and made their presentation and the council said, “You’re right.” Quite honestly, that pushed our town council to make that decision. They influenced a very major decision in the community.

The ordinance went into effect on October 15th. Emilie and her teammates may have completed their DI project but, perhaps inspired by the results of their efforts, they continue to work to make the world a better place. Just days after the fee was imposed, Emilie and her friends stood outside Breckenridge’s City Market, offering complimentary Breckenridge reusable bags to those shoppers that would sign their declaration.

Maybe we could take it farther than Breckenridge,Emilie says, when asked how their success has inspired her. Next step? Perhaps other towns in the county, like Frisco, or beyond.


Win a gift certificate for Fresh Tracks Transportation

FreshTracks_Logo_Smaller Jpeg 2 (1)Fresh Track Transportation is a Summit County transportation company that assists guests with transportation to and from Denver International Airport from Summit County.  They also offer Charter transportation to and from Denver International Airport.

How can you win a gift certificate?  We need photos to use on our website, newsletters and for print publication!

The first 5 people who send photos we can use for the website, newsletters and print will receive a gift certificate!

You need to move fast!  We are looking for Winter Family Photos.

Need more ideas of what we are looking for in photos check out the blog and our newsletters.

Send your photos to

Include your name, mailing address and phone number.

If you have a drop box folder you can send us a link so we can add the photos.

Send any questions to