Mountain Mayhem: True blue
As the bold color chosen to represent Autism Awareness, blue has become a symbol of hope and support for the individuals and families affected by this debilitating disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Autism Spectrum Disorder affects about 1% of the world’s population. Blue becomes especially prevalent at events and in campaigns throughout April during Autism Awareness Month. On April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, landmarks and monuments are lit up in blue from the White House to the Empire State Building to Niagara Falls and beyond.
In Aspen, Autism Awareness efforts are heightened earlier in the year with the annual Ascendigo Blue benefit, which took place on Saturday, Feb. 15, this year. The entire façade of the historic Hotel Jerome was awash in blue for the charity event held in its Antler Bar and Ballroom. All proceeds are directed to the Roaring Fork Valley-based Ascendigo Autism Services, which supports local, regional and national populations of youth and adults across the autism spectrum.
The lively fundraiser featured drinks, dinner, live and silent auctions, musical entertainment, special guests and no shortage of panache. Guests arrived at the sold-out event in flair, wearing blue in a variety of fabrics, patterns, styles and applications. Guest Tori Campisi sported blue suede boots that she special ordered on Amazon while Ashley Johnson’s jumpsuit was a recent find for the party, complemented by a red, white and blue Gucci belt. Tiffany Woodyard found a navy sequin blazer dress online and overnighted it while her friend Julianne Murphy wore a blue velvet jacket bought expressly for the event. “It’s my sixth year coming to this benefit and I now have a whole closet full of ‘Austism Blue’ clothing,” she noted with pride.