Hundreds show up for bash
ASPEN The Aspen Historical Society threw a party Sunday that drew hundreds for good food, music, a silent auction and mingling. “We wanted to have a community party that mirrored the way it was,” said Georgia Hanson, executive director of the Society. “We were able to embrace the community with one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.”Only a few years ago, the Historical Society was in trouble financially and seeking a way to pay the bills for managing two museums and voluminous archives, among its other endeavors. In November 2005, voters overwhelmingly passed a property tax to help pay roughly one-third of the Historical Society’s budget. Though the tax was passed nearly two years ago, the money only started to roll in last January. The party wasn’t paid for by the Historical Society, however; money was put up by the real estate community from ResortQuest and Coates/Reid/Waldron. “I like how the big real estate companies have been giving more to the community,” said Pete Yang of Aspen. “It’s such a great community event.” The grounds of the Wheeler/Stallard House were packed early in the afternoon and Hanson said 650 meals were served up to attendees. With a theme to “Archive the Good Old Days, a nostalgic journey into the ’50s,” the gathering was also a “fun-raiser” for the renovation of the Historical Society’s archives facilities. Hanson said they likely raised a good amount with donations, by attracting new members and with the silent auction. “The energy level is so high,” said Helen Klanderud, former Aspen mayor. “Everything was perfect. The community is alive and well.”Late in the afternoon, as the party was winding down, the band took a break and former Aspenite and musician Bobby Mason sang, “Georgia,” with Hanson sitting next to him. “It’s good to be back home,” he said. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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