Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Feb. 9, 2020)

Bring a Shining Star into your life

In just a few weeks, the Aspen community plays host to the Shining Stars — 70-plus pediatric cancer patients who are supported by a cadre of volunteer doctors and nurses. They will be based at the Inn at Aspen at Buttermilk Ski Area starting Feb. 28 to enjoy a week of winter activities.

It’s a chance for these children to forget about hospitals and painful treatments and enjoy a week of skiing, snowboarding, games, pool parties and other fun events. Our participants enjoy their time on the mountain, not as cancer patients, but as normal, carefree kids. We concentrate on what a child can do, rather than on what they can’t do. The results are magical and the kids leave with the gift of hope.

The cost to host the Winter Games Program in Aspen continues to grow each year. In addition, referrals to our program from oncology doctors have nearly doubled in the last five years. This is because there is a growing realization among medical professionals that treating a young patient comes at a high cost mentally, emotionally, and socially.

We have 14 kids who still need to be sponsored for the 2020 Aspen Winter Games. Many of the kids applying to attend are just starting their cancer journey. It is a time when they desperately need support.

I would like to invite members of the community to “Sponsor a Star” and help underwrite the cost of participation so we can get the kids who are waiting onto the mountain.

Please call me on 970-925-STAR (7827) to discuss how you can help, or visit to learn more about our organization or make a donation.

Thanks to all in the Roaring Fork Valley who do so much to support the Shining Stars and give them this precious gift of hope and magic. It couldn’t happen without you.

Kathy Gingery

CEO and founder, Shining Stars Foundation

Angling for a good cause in Basalt

Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club, Roaring Fork Conservancy and Roaring Fork Fishing Guide Alliance would like to extend a most sincere thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors, competitors, judges and spectators that made the 5th Annual Iron Fly Competition such a successful and fun event!

This year, the youth division fielded 13 competitors from Aspen to New Castle, ages 8 to 14, who represented the next generation of Roaring Fork and Colorado River valley anglers. In addition, 14 adult competitors from Aspen to New Castle, and one from Park City, Utah, turned up to go hook to hook with each other and test their skills.

Iron Fly is an event that combines fly-tying with a little friendly competition and a whole lot of fun. Competitors were provided unconventional materials that had to be used in each fly. The top three winners in each division were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, along with some fun prizes, and serious bragging rights for the next year!

Winners of the adult division were:

• Gold — Brandon Soucie, Basalt,

• Silver — Andrew Soliday, Basalt.

• Bronze — Cal Massey, Park City, Utah

Winners of the youth division were:

Gold — Ruthie L., 11 years old

Silver — Jacey R., 14

Bronze — Gracie C., 9

Thank you to our generous sponsors who made this all possible. Proceeds will support youth fishing camps and clinics, and many weekend programs with Project Healing Waters, Mayfly Club, and other programs for veterans through the Roaring Fork Valley.

Sponsors were Alpine Angling, Basalt Firearms, Boulder Boat Works, Brick Pony Pub, Capitol Creek Brewery, Colorado Mountain College, Spring Valley — Fly Fishing Club, Crystal Fly Shop, El Korita, Fishpond USA, Heather’s Savory Pies, HMC Construction, John P. Newbury, New York Pizza in Basalt, Orvis, Shannon Outing, Roaring Fork Anglers, Tan Bar, Taylor Creek Fly Shop, The Tipsy Trout, Timbo’s, Willits Grill and Woody Creek Distillers.

Rick Lofaro

Roaring Fork Conservancy

Tom Skutley

Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club

Hutch Hutchinson

The Orvis Co.

JAS Cafe guitarists were finger-styling good

I had the amazing opportunity last week to catch a JAS Café concert at the Little Nell by two of my favorite guitarists, Martin Taylor and Laurence Juber.

Martin Taylor is no stranger to anyone who plays a guitar. He earned his chops as a young musician playing with Stephane Grappelli of the Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli gypsy jazz legacy. From there he went on to become one of the most respected jazz guitarists playing today.

His playing partner for the weekend was virtuoso Laurence Juber, whose finger-style renown has crossed continents many times as an ambassador of Beatles music, having played with three of the living Beatles members and as a guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings band. Unlike Martin Taylor who is pretty much self-taught on the guitar, Juber studied classical guitar as well as other approaches before settling into the finger-style genre as his home base. For the past decades he has chosen the melodic DADGAD tuning as his sound of choice.

Made famous initially by the great Pierre Bensusan, this unique tuning is finding its way into the ears of many an ambitious finger-style player, who now have another master guitarist to emulate in this tuning. They each took center-stage with a solo set as well as joining forces to mesmerize the audience with their technical yet heartfelt prowess on their instruments. A truly inspiring evening of masterful guitar artistry.

An added bonus for me was that I brought along a 2003 issue of Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine which featured articles on both of these talented musicians, and I was able to get them to autograph their articles for me. Now that is a real gem — it goes back into the plastic sleeve for history.

Many thanks to Jimmy Horowitz and his team for bringing these two world renowned guitarists to our little big town. Magic is what JazzAspen does, and music is how they do it!

With gratitude …

Charles Andrade