Aspen Hall of Fame to induct Tom and Gregg Anderson, Helen Klanderud and Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass
Special to The Aspen Times
For the first time in its 29-year history, the Aspen Hall of Fame will be inducting four people whose lives were connected, whose paths crossed and whose careers and causes overlapped over the years.
Tom and Gregg Anderson, Helen Klanderud and Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass will be honored at the organization’s annual banquet Jan. 16.
Gregg Anderson and Helen Klanderud mirrored each other’s service to mental health by opening the Open Door mental-health clinic in 1972. Gregg Anderson started Aspen Big Brothers Big Sisters, which was renamed the Aspen Buddy Program, which Weinglass has championed and built to impact the lives of thousands of youth. His 30 years of support has been instrumental in that organization’s growth. Tom Anderson’s contributions to alpine skiing emulate the persuasive service of the other three inductees.
Tickets to the Aspen Hall of Fame banquet can be purchased for $125, payable by check to the Aspen Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 510, Aspen, CO 81612. The banquet is frequently a sellout, so interested attendees are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible.
Each of the inductees reflects the criteria established by the original Hall of Fame board. Inductees must have made “significant and lasting impacts on the Aspen/Snowmass communities economically, physically, spiritually and/or intellectually, demonstrated inspirational leadership, and have made major contributions in the cultural, sporting and/or civic arenas.”
The Anderson brothers grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River. Family ski trips to Aspen meant staying at the Ski View Lodge run by the Limelight and family dinners at The Red Onion. One time, Tom failed to load the Lift 1 chair behind his little brother as required, which stranded Gregg, and since their parents were at Ashcroft, someone took Gregg back to the Limelight to wait.
“My brother has been taking care of me ever since,” Gregg said.
After skiing in Aspen as a child, Tom Anderson moved to Aspen in 1971, followed by his brother the next year. Gregg’s first job was as a pin setter at the Shaft bowling lanes (where Boogie’s is now). Tom and his wife, Jannie, got involved in the Aspen Valley Ski Club to meet young ski families. Tom spent countless hours volunteering for the Aspen Cup, an Aspen Valley Ski Club race to that allowed local children to race at home. Tom used that experience to hone his racing timing and gatekeeping skills. His became a certified FIS timing official just as Aspen began hosting the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup races, volunteering for 20 races. He was named chief of race for the World Cup in the early 1980s.
He served on the Aspen Valley Ski Club board and as its president in 1976. Tom charted the sporting-goods career path he started while in Minnesota, opening a children’s sports store in Aspen called P’Nuts, followed in 1980 by his purchase of Pomeroy Sports, which he ran until his retirement in 2015. Tom died Oct. 2 at age 78.
Gregg Anderson’s initial desire was to work in Aspen before applying to law school, but that effort was thwarted when he learned about Klanderud’s Touchstone Clinic. However, Helen told him the clinic was closing, so the pair started the Open Door mental-health clinic in 1972. Gregg went on to start the Buddy Program’s predecessor, called Big Brothers Big Sisters, which he ran for 17 years. While he originally had no intention of becoming a minister, his longtime interest in religion and his recognition of a spiritual void in Aspen led him first to the Aspen Community Church and then the Aspen Chapel, which he oversaw as chaplain for 35 years after attending seminary. Gregg also was instrumental in starting the Snowmass Chapel. He eventually received both Master and Doctor of Divinity degrees.
During his career, he married 2,000 couples and did 300 baptisms and 400 memorials. His unique, nondenominational approach attracted Ted Bundy’s mother, who asked if he would counsel her son in jail. Also, the families of the victims of a head-on, double plane crash over the Maroon Bells area reached out to Gregg for his wise counsel and soft, compassionate demeanor.
He helped create the Aspen Ministerial Alliance, founded the Community Easter Sunrise Service in 1973 and helped to start the free, annual Community Thanksgiving service at the Hickory House. He received the Greg Mace Aspen Volunteer Award in 2010.
Klanderud moved to Aspen in 1971 as a single mother of four. She quickly became established in the community as a psychologist who ran the Touchstone mental-health clinic and then founded the Open Door clinic with Gregg Anderson. She is best known for her career in politics, which began in 1980 when she became the first woman elected (then re-elected in 1984) to the Board of Pitkin County Commissioners. She launched a bid for a Colorado Senate seat in 1999, which she lost by a narrow margin.
Helen, known as the “woman in black,” took a hiatus from politics and decided to get her law degree. But her love for politics drew her back in, and she ran for mayor in 1999 but was defeated by Rachel Richards. Her second attempt at that seat in 2001 was successful. She served three two-year terms before term limits disallowed her from running again.
Helen continued to dedicate herself to social service and civic endeavors. She served many years on the Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s board of directors as the representative of the professional sector. She became chairwoman of its public affairs committee, leading the organization’s oversight of relevant political issues. She also served on myriad other boards of local community-service organizations and was a member of the Rotary Club of Aspen. She spent many volunteer hours with the Thrift Shop of Aspen and at St. Mary’s St. Patrick Day Dinners.
Helen died at age 76 from complications following a stroke she suffered a day earlier.
Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass
It was love that brought Weinglass to Aspen in the early 1980s. He had fallen in love with a Baltimore woman named Gabrielle Pepper, who said she’d marry him if he would move to Aspen.
His rags-to-riches story as a hard-knock kid of a single mother in a poor Baltimore neighborhood who ended up a self-made millionaire influenced his eventual role as a major philanthropist. The guidance and mentorship he received as a boy from a basketball coach led to his involvement with the Buddy Program around 1987, when he opened Boogie’s Diner and became the sponsor of an annual 5-mile race benefiting the program.
But Weinglass wanted to do more, so he began hosting the Boogie’s Bop at his ranch on McLain Flats in 1999. The Bash for the Buddies along with the Boogie’s Buddy Race raised millions of dollars over the years to help support youth mentoring in the Roaring Fork Valley. The race will celebrate its 30th year in 2016.
Weinglass’ generosity has not only involved millions donated to his many charities and foundations, but has also quietly helped many individuals from providing college tuition to disadvantaged youth to covering medical expenses for those who couldn’t afford needed surgeries. His favorite quote is, “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”
The Aspen Hall of Fame
The Aspen Hall of Fame was established as part of Aspen Skiing Co.’s 40th-anniversary celebration, and its first banquet was held in January 1987. More than 1,000 people were at the Snowmass Conference Center that year to see Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke, Friedl Pfeiffer, Andre Roch, Ted Ryan and Fred Iselin become the first inductees.
Nominations for the Aspen Hall of Fame are solicited from the community each summer. The 17-member board of directors reviews each nomination and deliberates before voting on the nominees each fall. This year, 18 nominations were received, although the board also considered all previous nominations made since the institution was started.
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