Les Dames d’Aspen hold a luncheon every January at the Hotel Jerome, welcoming old and new members. Over the years Les Dames has raised more than $2.1 million for local arts organizations, with 80 percent going to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and the rest going toward scholarships to art students in the Aspen/Basalt schools, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and Theatre Aspen. Christine Aubale Gerschel, president and founder of the organization, recently organized a junior group for women under 35; Cari Britton and Heather Heath are co-chairwomen. Throughout the winter the women will be holding all kinds of social events such as ski days on Aspen Mountain, cross-country ski days, visits to art galleries and wine tastings. Les Dames also holds a gala cocktail party and formal dinner every summer. And because Christine spends part of the winter in Palm Beach, Fla., she has organized special Les Dames events there in conjunction with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s 10th anniversary celebration. Anyone wanting more information should call Christine at (970) 925-9021. Julia Ritchie of Aspen, who is a 12th-grader at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, earned honors for the fall term. She is the daughter of Robert Ritchie. The Aspen Valley Medical Foundation will hold its annual winter party on Saturday, Feb. 25, in the ballroom of the Hotel Jerome. There will be cocktails, dinner and dancing to The Sirens. This year’s event benefits the AVMF scholarship program for nurses, EMTs and paramedics at Aspen Valley Hospital. For reservations, call (970) 544-1298.The Denver newspapers have been looking to the Roaring Fork Valley a lot lately. The Rocky Mountain News had an article about Chris Chapman, a Carbondale leather worker who designs and creates large works such as headboards, tables, bars and cabinets. She embosses the leather with German-inspired stags, Celtic thistles and other historical motifs. The Rocky Mountain News also did a large article about the Aspen home of interior designer Charlotte Moss. The article features photos from Charlotte’s new book “The Winter House,” which were taken by Jason Dewey. Not to be outdone, The Denver Post recently included a long article with many photos about Sue Anchutz-Rodgers and her Crystal River Ranch near Carbondale. Sue has been named the 2006 Citizen of the West and is the first female member of the National Western Stock Show executive committee.
Georgia and Andy Hanson and Peter Helburn are back from a journey to Timbuktu in Africa.Writer and photographer Nancy Wood, who frequents Aspen from Santa Fe to do her writing (usually up at Toklat), has a new children’s book published by Candlewick Press titled “How the Tiny People Grew Tall.” The tiniest people come out of the earth and begin a journey to become as tall as young trees. Now Nancy has written another children’s book, titled “Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen,” which is due to be published in March. This book is an imaginative story about the creators having fun while they’re making the universe.Undercurrent … Aren’t we getting tired of shoveling snow!
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I try to remember to give thanks every day I spend outside, whether it be floating the Colorado or Roaring Fork, fishing an epic dry fly hatch on the Fryingpan, or teasing up tiny brook trout on a remote lake or stream. We’re spoiled rotten here, so it’s easy to be thankful.