Storm the stars a rare opportunity |

Storm the stars a rare opportunity

Dear Editor:Aspen local Chris Klug would have died within months without it. Instead he got it, won an Olympic medal and became a role model and hero. It has, in fact, been the hope for tens of thousands of people and saved as many lives. “It” is a life-saving organ transplant and over 93,000 people in our country are waiting for one. Raising awareness of this issue and needed funds for this cause is at the heart (pun intended) of this year’s Storm the Stars nighttime uphill event.Word has been going around town, in racing circles at least, about the challenge of raising $200 for this year’s event, which is a benefit event for the first time in its three-year history. Two racers actually stopped me on the street to discuss it. “I don’t like asking people for money” and “This is becoming an exclusive event” are some of the feelings out there in the uphill racing community.As a 20-year local competitor, event director and a working guy here in Aspen, I can relate to financial challenges and the trend towards exclusivity in Aspen. But Storm the Stars is not exclusive, it’s inclusive. Not only do we help ourselves by improving our fitness and enjoying some social time, we have the opportunity to help others through the benefactors. The Chris Klug Foundation and American Transplant Foundation raise awareness and urgently needed funds to help people who are literally fighting for their lives.Unlike most events, your entry fee is tax-deductible. You can feel good that the money is going to a great cause. If you need help raising funds, there are local businesses that have stepped up to offer assistance to those needing sponsorship. Aspen Magazine is one of them. Call Aspen Magazine’s Nora Feeley at 920-4040, ext. 15, for details. The awesome goodie bag, which keeps growing and is now valued at over $130, includes goods from Cloudveil and Chaco, among others.After the ascent, there will be an epic party including a fantastic dinner, live band, awards presentation, and sneak peak at Klug’s new movie, “Ride of your Life,” which is an inspirational message of hope for anyone – especially those going through the incredible challenge of an organ transplant. Not only can they survive, they can thrive and go on to realize their dreams.For those racers on the fence, please consider this rare opportunity to help yourself and others, while enjoying a one-of-a-kind nighttime event that’s been awesome the past two years and promises to be even better this year. Will you step up and be there? I will. After all, it’s when you give that you receive in life.Erik SkarvanAspen

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