Three locals to be inducted to Aspen Hall of Fame
Class of 2022 includes Andy Mill, Rita Hunter and Bruce Gordon
A longtime Aspen educator and environmentalist, a World Cup skier and inspiration to local racers, and the driving force behind community theater make up the Aspen Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022, the local nonprofit organization announced Tuesday.
Rita Hunter will be honored in the cultural category for her decades of work with Aspen Community Theatre; Andy Mill is being honored for his skiing talents in the 1960s and ‘70s on the U.S. team; and Bruce Gordon is being recognized in the environmental category for his work founding EcoFlight and his role as an outdoors and physical education teacher in the Aspen School District.
The trio will be honored at the annual Aspen Hall of Fame banquet scheduled for Feb. 26 at the Hotel Jerome.
Hunter has been involved in nearly every aspect of the Aspen Community Theatre since 1980, and her level of dedication behind the scenes has earned her the reputation of “heart and soul” of over 40 years of ACT productions, according to Hall of Fame board.
Hunter is credited with “raising the bar of professionalism’ in Aspen’s community theater from seeking out hidden local talent to helping to raise the funds necessary to deliver near “Broadway caliber” shows, according to Tuesday’s announcement. Diagnosed with ALS in 2019, Hunter stepped back from the demands of local theater.
Mill worked his way up from the Aspen Ski Club in the 1960s to the U.S. Ski Team and is one of Aspen’s most decorated alpine skiers. He finished sixth in the 1976 Winter Olympic downhill, which was the best by an American in the men’s downhill in 24 years (Bill Beck finished in fifth place in 1952).
Mill has worked to raise funds for the Aspen Ski Club’s scholarship fund, and also is a member of the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Aspen Valley Ski Club Hall of Fame in 2012.
Gordon has dedicated himself to environmental and climate issues from the above with his nonprofit EcoFlight, a conservation aviation organization that educates and advocates for the protection of remaining wild lands and wildlife habitat.
In his efforts to raise awareness of wild lands protection, impacts from mining and oil and gas development, Gordon “has flown local school children and dignitaries from around the world over the American west using the aerial perspective to encourage an environmental stewardship ethic among citizens of all ages,“ the Hall said in its announcement.
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