Deaf Camp |

Deaf Camp

Talking in sign language at the Deaf Camp dinner at the Crystal Palace are, left, Christy Smith, a Deaf Camp staffer who was on the CBS Survivor show and now has her own show called Challenge Yourself on Denvers PBS channel, and BJ Blocker, director of the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf. (MEH photo)

The beginning of the winter season in Aspen is always the gala dinner and show at the Crystal Palace benefiting the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf. It is always so festive with the stained glass and chandeliers in both the bar and the dining room.There are 400 nonprofit organizations now in the Roaring Fork Valley and the Deaf Camp is one of the oldest – it has operated for 33 summers in the Old Snowmass Valley. Longtime Aspenites Mary and George Gleason have moved back to Boulder and are living at the Meridian, a senior retirement place with only independent-living apartments. They are now going to Green Valley, Ariz., for the winter and will be back in Boulder in April. In Aspen they were active members of the senior citizens group, participating in many cross-country ski trips. When they lived in Boulder before, Mary did the marketing for the University of Colorado and George worked as an engineer.Other former Aspenites Nancy and Jon Batchelor and children, Chris and Carolyn, are now living in Miami Beach, Fla.

Dividing their time between their homes, Peace Harbor on West Lake Okebeji, Iowa, and Peace Ranch in the Frying Pan Valley are Tom Bedell and Molly Beattie. They started 2005 on a family cruise, with all their children, from South America to Antarctica, and they ended the year on a safari in South Africa. Tom’s business, Pure Fishing, took them to Europe and Asia. During 2005, they sponsored the Irish Festival with the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, and through the Bedell World Citizenship Fund, they were involved in a variety of philanthropic work for local and global causes. In the Iowa Great Lakes area, a new arts council, ArtsLIVE, has been created, the Sami Bedell Center for the Performing Arts is under construction, and the capital campaign for the Bedell Family YMCA is almost complete. Tom enjoys his service on the Iowa Board of Regents, and Molly is swamped with volunteer and consulting work with a variety of organizations in Iowa and Colorado.The Aspen Institute held its Christmas party last week featuring a talk and slide show about the early works of Herbert Bayer, a longtime resident of Aspen. The show will hang through the month at the Adelson Gallery at the Aspen Institute. An exhibit of Herbert’s artwork dating from 1920 to 1981 will be on display from Dec. 27-Jan. 17 at the Sardella Fine Art Gallery on East Cooper Avenue.

A special reception was held Dec. 29 at the Aspen Prada store for Andre Leon Talley, editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, who presented images and anecdotes from his book “A.L.T. 365+.” And that same evening Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell hosted the Grand Classics screening of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Wheeler Opera House.Undercurrent … Happy New Year!

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