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Festive affairs

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
At the Les Dames dAspen luncheon at the Hotel Jerome are, left to right, Christine Aubale Gerschel, president of Les Dames, Marcia Donnell and Billie Pierce. (MEH)
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Winter in Aspen is a time for many festive affairs.Les Dames d’Aspen hold a luncheon at the Hotel Jerome where new members and longtime members get to know each other.Founder and current president of Les Dames Christine Aubale Gerschel announced that the organization has made a net distribution of $130,000 to arts beneficiaries for the 2006-07 season. She said $95,200 went to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the Aspen Dance Festival and the School of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Another $34,800 was distributed to Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Theatre Aspen, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Festival’s Robert Harth Memorial Fund. Scholarships in the arts were also granted to students in Aspen and Basalt schools.

Les Dames d’Aspen was founded over 25 years ago when Lita Heller asked Christine Aubale Gerschel to organize a group of women to raise funds for Ballet Aspen. Over the years ballet continued to thrive in the valley, thanks to Les Dames, which decided to give funds to other arts groups in Aspen including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. For many years Les Dames raised the money by putting on gala dances, either in the summer or on New Year’s Eve. Reorganizing a few years ago, the group decided to raise the funds by having each member give $1,200. Les Dames has become an excellent way for newcomers to get to know other Aspenites, as get-togethers are held each month – luncheons at mountain restaurants, downhill and cross-country ski excursions, wine-tastings, golfing and hiking events. Anyone interested in joining Les Dames may call Gerschel at (970) 925-9028.

Jewelry designer Christopher Walling recently held a dinner party at Matsuhisa restaurant in honor of artist Denis Colomb and his wife, author Erica Lennard, who were holding a show in Christopher’s boutique of the cashmere scarves and blankets that Denis designs. Erica is the author of architectural books such as “American Writers at Home,” “Gardens by the Sea,” and “Artists’ Houses.”The Hudson Reed Ensemble is excited to announce that Felicity Huffman, star of TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” Golden Globe winner, and Academy Award nominee for “TransAmerica” will be in Aspen for the theater group’s first-ever fundraiser on Saturday evening, March 31. The fundraiser will feature the live performance world premiere of “The Aspen Soap,” a comedic look into the vagaries of life in Aspen. Details will be announced later.Coming up even sooner is the Theatre Aspen gala billed as “Summer of Love,” which will be held Saturday, March 17, at the Hotel Jerome. The evening’s theme will be the hippie days of the 1960s and ’70s and attire will be hippie threads. For reservations call (970) 925-9313.A “Save the Date” is the 25th-year celebration of Rocky Mountain Institute on Thursday and Friday, August 9-10. Co-chairs are Molly and Tom Bedell and Elaine and Rob LeBuhn. Plans for the celebration include Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author, moderating an intellectual feast with RMI co-founder Amory Lovins, and other luminaries discussing solutions to global problems with a focus on corporate leadership, venture philanthropy, entrepreneurial nonprofits, and building real security.Anneke and Jack dePagter have headed for an early holiday in the Caribbean. And that reminds me.Undercurrent … Have you made your reservations for the spring offseason?


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