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Locals pull together to help Aspen

Aspen Times Staff Report

Aspenites are stepping up in force to help a local woman who is battling cancer.

A benefit event is planned for Sunday, from noon to 8 p.m., at Bumps restaurant at the base of Buttermilk for Nancy Dasaro, who has been diagnosed with cholangio carcinoma, a rare type of cancer that attacks the digestive system.

With family members in Vermont, Nancy, 34, and her husband Rob have returned there for the time being with their 3-year-old daughter, Sophie. Nonetheless, the Dasaros remain very much in the hearts and minds of the Aspen community, according to friend and neighbor Jill Kamas, lead organizer of Sunday’s fund-raiser.

Response to the event, which will feature live music from top names on the local music scene, a silent auction boasting some 200 items, and food and drink, has been “absolutely overwhelming,” said Kamas.

“Almost everyone we’ve talked to has been willing to help,” she said. “I expected all their friends would, but I just can’t believe how great this community is. I’ve only lived here about a year. I was just blown away.”

Kamas and the Dasaros have been neighbors at Strang Ranch outside Carbondale. Both Nancy and Rob are well-known locals, Kamas said.

“They’re the classic folks who live around here – really involved in the community.”

Nancy is a familiar face to many from her years of employment at the Hard Rock Cafe in Aspen and other area restaurants. She was most recently employed at Thurston Inc., a kitchen and bath design firm at the Aspen Airport Business Center.

The staff at Thurston is pulling for their former coworker and will be at Bumps Sunday to do their part to help a friend, said office manager Missy Morgan.

“We’re all shattered, totally. It was such a shock,” Morgan said. “We just wish she was closer so we could do things for her.”

Rob Dasaro has worked as a local ski patroller and served as a volunteer firefighter. He has also been a familiar face – and voice – at Aspen’s nightspots. He was formerly keyboardist and vocalist for local band Jes Grew, and before that performed with Monkey Train until the group disbanded.

His former Jes Grew bandmates and a host of other local bands and musicians have stepped up to provide the beat for Sunday’s fun.

Also on the bill are: Rugged Mountain Meltdown, Seventh Hour, Steve Skinner, Dan Sheridan, Likewise, Friends of Your Mother and Bobby Mason.

Glenn Wood, chef at the Cirque Cafe in Snowmass Village and a friend of Nancy’s, will oversee food preparation for the benefit. Food and drink have been donated for the event. The Aspen Skiing Co. is donating the use of Bumps.

In addition, various businesses and individuals have donated services and items for the silent auction, according to Kamas.

Attendees can bid on such diverse fare as massages and time with personal trainers, dinners for two at various restaurants, a five-night stay at the Inn at Aspen at Buttermilk, a handmade log table, a night in a cabin at Prospect Mountain Ranch in Marble, horseback rides to the Maroon Bells, two months of tuition for a youngster in Dance Progression’s jazz dance program and more.

The Dasaros will not attend Sunday’s event as Nancy is in and out of the hospital, fighting an illness with no known effective treatment, according to Kamas. Their insurance won’t cover experimental treatment, she said.

“Rob’s working three jobs and trying to keep them floating,” she said.

Admission to the benefit is a $15 donation for adults and $5 for kids. Proceeds from admission, food and drink sales, and the auction will all go to the Dasaros.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty good day,” Kamas said. “It’ll be a lot of positive energy and I think it’ll really help these guys out.”

Another option to help out the Dasaros is an account established for Nancy at Alpine Bank. Donors may write a check to The Nancy Dasaro Benefit Fund (account No. 4040940305). Donations will be accepted at any Alpine Bank location.


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