Kudos & Kindness (Feb. 7, 2021)

A toast to Mac Smith

Like so many devotees of Aspen Highlands and its iconic Bowl, I wanted to add this old fart’s two-cents to Scott Condon’s fitting tribute to Mac Smith on his retirement as director of Highland Ski Patrol (“Mac Smith turns over the reins of Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol,” Feb. 2, The Aspen Times).

What a remarkable legacy this gentle giant leaves for all who love the vertical playground he was so instrumental in protecting, preserving and most importantly, expanding. I was lucky enough to poach the Bowl with the patrol on the 10th anniversary of the deadly slide to write an article for Aspen Magazine the year before the bowl was reopened and another about skiing Five Fingers, just beyond the Bowl, with Chris Davenport and Dick Jackson a few years later. My bride, Christine, and I worked as mountain mascots (ambassadors) at Highlands for seven years and could always count on Mac being our first guest at the annual Ski Tuner’s Ball during its 30-year reign.

Mac’s remarkable vision and dedication has provided our valley with a unique monument to the sport of skiing. A tip of the hat and vote of gratitude to the big guy with the broad smile and big heart from two of your biggest fans.

Christine and Gerry Goldstein



High praise for Ajax groomers

The skiing on Aspen Mountain is amazing! A special shout-out to the people who groom the mountain. Thank you.

Rob Gile



Aspen generosity shines through

The generosity of our community continues to amaze us. Pathfinders is an organization that helps people with cancer and other debilitating illnesses. One of our programs is to bring meals to people while they are in treatment and recovering.

Nancy Paley and Lisa Lambert have generously started a program that helps not only us but the restaurants. They have given gift certificates from restaurants for us to use for our clients. Our clients are thrilled and it is helping our restaurants — a win -win. We are so grateful.

With gratitude for being part of such a great community …

Allison Daily and Debbie Kreutzer



Molding character, one buddy at a time

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” — Steven Spielberg

It has been almost a year since I became a big buddy and what a journey it has been! My little buddy and I have gotten to know each other while playing tennis and soccer, making pizza, playing chess, attending a pottery class, making a kite, launching a rocket, reading/discussing “A Little History of the World,” ice skating, and car singing Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga,” all while maintaining safety protocols during the pandemic.

I know from personal experience how important and enriching is to have a mentor in one’s life. After graduating college in Sofia, Bulgaria, I embarked on a long journey that eventually let me to Aspen. Throughout my journey, mentors inspired me to keep learning, stay disciplined and focused, and always purse my dreams. These mentors have shaped my character, helped me grow, and enabled me to learn a lot about myself. Through my experience, I learned how important is to give back and inspire others to be their best selves.

Now more than ever before, staying connected is instrumental in our lives. Becoming a mentor has positively impacted my life. I am so thankful for the professionalism and support of the Buddy Program team and for the smooth application process. They made my experience great and I feel extremely grateful to be part of the program. I hope that sharing my experience will inspire people to learn more about the Buddy Program and help positively impact and shape children’s lives.

Vangel Yurukov

Snowmass Village


Aspen Chapel Gallery thanks supporters, helps Holiday Baskets

The Aspen Chapel Gallery wishes to thank everyone who patronized the annual holiday Small Wonders show. Through sales at the gallery and the sponsorships, we were able to give Holiday Baskets over $3,700 to help with their goal of providing gifts and food for over 250 families.

We also would like to thank our sponsors who made the show possible. The Big Wrap, Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, Hensley & James Peterson, Sam and Peter Louras, Barbara Reid and David Hyman, Jessica Salet, and Alice Davis

Finally, thank you to the 29 participating artists whose creative efforts made such a unique and delightful show.

Tom Ward and Michael Bonds

Co-directors, Aspen Chapel Gallery