Black & White Gala |

Black & White Gala

May Eynon

Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC) hosted an action-packed Presidents Day weekend community celebration with three days of activities for all ages.The festivities began Friday, Feb. 13, with the Snow Pants Dance at the AVSC Clubhouse for students from grades eight through 12. On Saturday night, adults were invited to the first annual Black & White Gala at the Sundeck. Guests assembled in their finer attire for a romantic evening with dinner, dancing and casino gaming, as well as live and silent auctions. On Sunday, Feb. 15, Bob Beattie conducted an endurance challenge on Little Nell modeled after the popular 2.4 Hours of Aspen that used to precede the 24 Hours of Aspen ski race. AVSC athletes raced through gates in a Super G format on Little Nell, collecting pledges for each lap to support the AVSC scholarship program. The weekend closed with a White Out party at Bumps at the base of Buttermilk.The oldest nonprofit organization in the valley, AVSC was founded in 1937 under the name of the Roaring Fork Winter Sports Club. Today more than 1,600 kids from Aspen to Grand Junction participate in AVSC programs 25 percent of them assisted through financial aid. Our goal is to ensure that every single child in this valley who wants to ski or snowboard is given that opportunity, declared Cindy Galardi, an AVSC board member and parent as well as co-chair of the Black & White Gala. To carry on its mission, AVSC must raise more than $700,000 annually.Held on Valentines Day, the elegant Black & White Gala was the centerpiece of the weekend, according to AVSC Executive Director Mark Cole. Guests were treated to champagne and chocolate as they uploaded on the gondola for dinner and dancing. Chef Paul Wade of The Little Nell prepared a gourmet dinner; the Nacho Men enticed the crowd to dance, and the silent and live auctions abounded with fine items.Were as excited as can be to have such strong support from the community, said Cole at the sold-out gala.I had no idea how much love the community has for this organization, stated Galardi. Since the day we started selling tickets to this event, the response has truly been unbelievable.I am overwhelmed by the support from everyone here tonight, said AVSC Base Camp Director Susan Blakney. Everyone is so happy tonight, marveled Black & White Gala co-chair Judy Schumacher, proud of the hard work she and many others invested to create such a successful benefit.For more information on AVSC, go to contact May to send info, insight or invites, e-mail: