Letter: Thanks for a successful event

Ascendigo Autism Services had our fundraising events Feb. 13 — Light It Up Blue Aspen at the Hotel Jerome preceded by our Vertical Blue scavenger hunt, raffle and celebrity meet-and-greet with Bode Miller at Aspen Highlands. This year’s events were a tremendous success — our best ever — and we have a long list of folks to thank for their hard work and generosity. Since the paper limits me to 500 words, I can’t name everyone we would like to thank in this letter, but we have tried to list everyone in an ad we placed in the Times this week.

Many thanks to all our sponsors, auction-item contributors, scholarship donors, ticket buyers, Ascendigo staff and volunteers who helped make this oversold event so much fun and productive for our clients and their families. We are extremely grateful for your participation.

A special shout-out to our presenting sponsor, Sentient Jet, which was a terrific partner again this year.

Our event committee members (who also served on the host committee) really stepped up. Our co-chairs, Julie Manning and Stephen Olitsky, brought their “A” game. Julie drove us to succeed with her passion — along with enlisting and inspiring many of our guests and contributors. Stephen brought in his longtime friend Andy Andersson of Fuel to put together the Monster All-Stars — top musicians from chart-leading bands — to rock our entertainment. He and his lovely wife, Tamar, also were extremely generous and inspirational to others in raising funds, especially in kicking off our Bil Rieger Scholarship Fund, which will help more kids access our camps.

Dr. Jennifer Berman, co-star of the hit daytime show “The Doctors,” brought her colleague Dr. Andrew Ordon and plans to have another segment about us on their show. Debbie Haderle produced an extremely touching video about our programs. Ascendigo board President Sallie Bernard provided great leadership and generosity. Heather Leck contributed generously.

Debra Doyle of Aspen Eventworks did her usual magic of putting everything together, including key sponsorships — a truly gifted professional. Our marketing and development coordinator, Alta Otto, kept on top of everything with her customary but unusual combination of cool and calm mixed with high-intensity performance.

The other members of our host committee did a terrific job of bringing people and energy into the event: Sallie and Tom Bernard, Theresa Chase, Kirsten LaMotte, Kathy Kendrick, Alan Klein, Tory Thomas, Linda Waissar and Robert West.

Special thanks to Chris Davenport, who absolutely “killed it” running the live auction. Not only is he my ski-mountaineering hero, but I have never seen anyone connect better with our crowd or provide so much positive energy to an auction.

The Roaring Fork Valley communities come through again!

Thank you all.

Hugh Zuker

Executive director, Ascendigo Autism Services