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December 4, 2012
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Zuker returns as president of Mountain Rescue Aspen

ASPEN - Hugh Zuker will return as president of Mountain Rescue Aspen in 2013 after winning election Monday night, the organization confirmed Tuesday.

Mountain Rescue Aspen is a private, nonprofit organization, so its vote tallies are private, the organization said in a statement. Doug Paley has been the president the past two years.

Mountain Rescue Aspen elects the members of its board of directors to a one-year term. Paley won election in 2011 and 2012. Zuker served the prior seven years.

Those elected to other positions were Walther Ramos, vice president and treasurer; Ray Peritz, secretary; Scott Messina, director of training; Keith Bosscher, director of operations; Debbie Kelly, rescue leader coordinator; and Jeff Edelson, director-at-large.

Edelson's position is new.

"Last night the team approved a change to our bylaws allowing expansion to a seventh director," said Mountain Rescue Aspen's statement. "This director-at-large will be leading the facility project."

Mountain Rescue Aspen wants to replace its headquarters in a cramped cabin on West Main Street in Aspen with a new facility along Highway 82 across from the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. An application for the new headwaters was submitted to Pitkin County in October. The new facility is proposed around 12,500 square feet. To put that in perspective, it would be about 75 percent of the size of the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department's North 40 Station.

Half of the proposed building for Mountain Rescue Aspen will be garage space for the team's three trucks, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and associated trailers. The remainder includes command and control space, training and meeting space, a locker room and a small apartment for a maintenance person.

Edelson said he met Tuesday at the building site with staff from the Pitkin County Community Development Department. The review of the application will start at the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday.

Mountain Rescue Aspen received a $1.5 million contribution last year from Lynda Cameron, who was rescued by the organization after surviving a small-aircraft crash in the Aspen backcountry in November 1977. Her father, C.B. Cameron, was killed in the accident. Four others in the airplane survived and were rescued.

Mountain Rescue Aspen recently launched a fundraising drive to help build the rescue and education facility. It will hold a dinner at Aspen's L'Hostaria restaurant on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will feature guest speaker Aron Ralston, a former Mountain Rescue Aspen member whose story of survival in the Utah desert was featured in the Oscar-nominated film "127 Hours."

Tickets to the dinner are $200 per person for a three-course dinner, beer and wine. Seating is limited.

More on Mountain Rescue Aspen is available at http://mountainrescueaspen.org.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 5, 2012 06:00AM Published Dec 4, 2012 11:47PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.