Aspen Hall of Fame shakes things up to entice a broader audience |

Aspen Hall of Fame shakes things up to entice a broader audience

The Aspen Hall of Fame has launched a series of new programs in what officials say is an effort to attract a broader audience and generate new energy and enthusiasm for the organization.

The Aspen Hall of Fame Banquet has been moved to the fall from its traditional time at the end of January because of the need for fund-raising and to reduce banquet costs.

“It is our desire to keep the banquet as affordable as possible, while continuing to hold the event at the historic Hotel Jerome,” said Sandy Smith, president of the Hall of Fame board. Nominations for the 2004 inductees will be accepted starting in March.

She said a desire to attract more people at a lower cost led to the organization’s newest event, “Reminiscing with Hall of Famers,” which honors previous Hall of Fame recipients by presenting their video profiles during a casual wine and cheese reception.

The second in the series of this event will take place during Wintersköl week ” Thursday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Mountain Chalet in Aspen. The pioneers to be honored include Jack DePagter, Dick Durrance, Steve Knowlton, Friedl Pfeifer, Gretl Uhl and Klaus Obermeyer.

The first reception occurred in late August as part of the Old Timers’ annual celebration party in Aspen.

The organization is seeking sponsors to underwrite the video profiles. The profiles are the organization’s primary expense, according to a press release.

The videos capture inductees’ lives on camera and preserve their stories for future generations. They are produced for every Hall of Fame inductee at a cost of approximately $10,000-$15,000 per year for two to three videos.

“These video/DVD records represent a vital oral history of the special people who have contributed immensely to the unique success of our community,” said founder and vice president of the Hall of Fame board, Jeanette Darnauer.

“We are hopeful that others share our mission of bringing history alive by honoring these heroes,” she added.

Video/DVD sponsorship opportunities are divided into three categories: $5,000 to sponsor one entire video (approximately seven minutes long); $2,500 to sponsor half of a video; $1,250 for a quarter sponsorship; and $500 to cover the partial costs of digital archives for the 62 videos produced to date.

The Aspen Hall of Fame was started in 1987 as a part of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s 40th anniversary celebration. Its mission is to honor the men and women whose hard work and innovative ideas have built Aspen.

The organization depends on the contributions of both individuals and corporations. In the first several years, the Skico was the Hall of Fame’s sole source of funding. The Thrift Shop added its support in the early 1990s and has been a major sponsor of the videos ever since.

Contact Sandy Smith at 963-4517 for more information.

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