Showing our true colors

Jill Beathard
Editor’s Note
Jill Beathard

Well, the numbers aren’t quite in yet (check back in the coming days), but anecdotally, the Deaf Camp Picnic was a success.

The Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was forced to downsize the summer fundraiser on July 17 through 19 when not enough tickets had been sold prior to the event. Things were not looking so good for the nonprofit, which could not afford to lose money throwing a party.

But the community stepped up. Related Colorado and Snowmass Tourism covered some of the costs of putting on the picnic. Three of the restaurants in Base Village donated part of their proceeds during the night to the camp. Instead of being charged for tickets, people attending were simply asked to donate to the cause.

And in an email on July 20, Executive Director Lesa Thomas said, “Camp’s world is much better!”

That’s comforting to hear. The Aspen Camp lost its biggest advocate — and one of the people responsible for revitalizing the picnic in 2013 — in April when board member Mike Adler died.

The former valley resident believed that the Aspen Camp — which under Thomas’ leadership now welcomes hundreds of participants from across the nation and provides interpreter services, sign-language classes and uses of its facility to locals — should be a project of the community. Through their generosity this weekend, residents and visitors of our valley have proven that to still be the case. But I’m guessing there’s a lot more that could be done.

So let’s not let Adler down. Let’s show the Aspen Camp support year-round and make next year’s picnic bigger and better than ever. Snowmass should be proud to attach its name to such a fun, positive event, which is why I hope to see the village lead the way.

Jill Beathard is the editor of the Snowmass Sun. Contact her at