On Dec. 21, in the midst of all the glitzy holiday celebrations, the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation held its annual meeting and holiday reception at the Hotel Jerome and brought us back to more of the real Aspen.
The meeting featured highlights of the year through powerful stories told by grant recipients and people who were treated at Aspen Valley Hospital. Dr. Archer Bishop was introduced as the new president of the board of the foundation, which provides funding for many health and human services throughout the valley. This year the foundation gave $833,000 in grants, with $400,000 going to Aspen Valley Hospital. Foundation director Kris Marsh reported that the organization’s fund raising was cut in half this year – all the nonprofits are struggling with lower contributions. But then she reported that Dick Butera had stepped forward the evening before and given the foundation a surprise unrestricted $500,000 contribution. On March 19 at the Hotel Jerome, the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation will host the traditional Hospital Benefit Dinner with dinner and dancing and music by The Sirens. Call (970) 544-1377 for reservations.Valentine’s Day is coming up, and husband and wife acting team Joyce Bulifant and Roger Perry of Carbondale will star in the musical presentation of “I Do I Do” at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs on Feb. 11 and 12. Joyce and Roger originally met 43 years ago while acting together and were married three years ago. Joyce has been acting since the age of 14 and has had TV appearances on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Airplane,” and “Just Shoot Me.” Roger is a composer and musician and has acting credits that include “Star Trek,” “The Facts of Life” and “Falcon Crest.” The Carbondale Rotary Club Aspen Glen is building a safe haven for abused and battered children and the performances will benefit this endeavor.
On Feb. 19 and 20, the second annual “Winter Whiteout,” a benefit for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, will be held with a Midwinter Night’s Dream Gala atop Aspen Mountain at the Sundeck on Saturday, Feb. 19, and then skiing, snowboarding and tubing at Buttermilk Mountain on Sunday, Feb. 20. For reservations call (970) 925-2720, ext. 101.Aspen artist Rita Blitt will have an exhibit of her paintings, pedestal and wall sculptures from Feb. 3 to March 13 at the Marion Meyer Gallery of Contemporary Art in Laguna Beach, Calif. The exhibit will travel to the Hallar Gallery in Kansas City on April 16, to the Ezair Gallery in New York City on Oct. 6, and then to the Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy, on Dec. 3. Shows in 2006 will be May 30 at the Walton Art Center in Fayetteville, Ark., and Sept. 12 at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Ga. In the small-world department … had a note from John Ringle (whose parents, Verlin and Ruth Ringle, owned The Aspen Times in the 1940s and 1950s). He was fishing at the Nags Head Pier in Nags Head, N.C., when he heard someone in a group next to him mention that they had once caught a lot of fish at Maroon Lake. After John asked them if they were from Aspen, he found the leader of the group was Jessie McKeen Morss, longtime Aspen artist who has a studio on her land on the Trentaz Ranch in Starwood. Jessie’s place is now for sale and she is spending most of her time in Denver.
Alain Azizi, general manager of Aspen’s Gusto restaurant, tells me that Victoria Gotti and a group of her friends spent a day last week filming in the restaurant for her TV series, “Growing Up Gotti,” which is viewed by 4 million people. Victoria loves the Italian food at Gusto.The 31st annual “Best of Aspen” issue of Aspen Magazine is on the stands with its usual listing of Aspen’s irreverences. Find out what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s next. The magazine also spotlights some of Aspen’s best with its annual People of the Year awards. Some of the honorees include pro skier Casey Puckett, the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Amory Lovins, entrepreneur Michael Goldberg, 5-year-old skiing prodigy Bridger Gile, and X Games competitor Steele Spence.Undercurrent … It’s the midwinter lull!
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