Clubhouse Chronicles: Celebrating AVSC’s 2019 hall of fame inductees

Mark Godomsky
AVSC Executive Director
Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club
Courtesy image

Like many ski clubs across the country, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club got its start as a volunteer-based organization. In the early days, volunteers cut trails, sewed competition bibs, served meals, provided housing and more.

Today, the scope of programs and number of participants requires a full staff, but this spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in the Roaring Fork Valley. AVSC is incredibly proud to pass on our passions to the next generation; our work is made better, and often possible, through the energizing and motivating support of our community.

It takes a lot of people to successfully operate a 2,300-kid ski and snowboard club; thank you to our donors, volunteers, athletes, parents, business partners and many more who make it happen every day.

We are always excited to have the opportunity to formally thank and recognize specific community members who have made a lasting impact on our club and the youth of the Roaring Fork Valley. Our annual Hall of Fame Dinner, a tradition that started in 2012 during the club’s 75th year, is a chance to press pause mid-season and celebrate influential individuals, families or community partners associated with AVSC.

At a time in the season when days start to fly by as we’re heads down, hyper-focused on the next training run, the next lesson, the next competition, it gives us a chance to come up for air, reflect on and celebrate our deep roots in this community, and optimistically look toward the future. Our Hall of Fame consists of individuals who have made a significant impact on AVSC — some through their service to our athletes, some through their pursuit of excellence in their own athletic career, and many through both. Regardless of individual accolades, they are united by a belief that our mountain community is only made stronger if we inspire our youth to develop passions and excel.

This year, we are excited to welcome John Bakken, the Oates Family and the Aspen Elks into the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club Hall of Fame. I wanted to take a moment here to celebrate each and briefly explain their contribution to our club.

  • John Bakken is being recognized for welcoming AVSC athletes, coaches and visitors into Aspen Gymnastics as their second home. Athletes of all disciplines have benefit from John’s guidance in physical and mental awareness.
  • The Oates family is being recognized for their longstanding and multigenerational relationship with AVSC, starting with Cherie, who started skiing when the first lift on Aspen Mountain went in (eventually becoming a U.S. Ski Team member) and continues today with multiple staff members and athletes.
  • Aspen Elks is being recognized for providing support to AVSC in many ways, from scholarships for competitive athletes (helping them secure spots on national team rosters) to providing funding each summer for our Fourth of July barbecue, a cherished AVSC tradition.

Our Hall of Fame Dinner is open to the community. If you’d like to join us, we will be eating a delicious dinner, enjoying libations from Capitol Creek Brewery and Woody Creek Distillery, and celebrating John, the Oates Family and the Aspen Elks at T-Lazy-7 Ranch on Saturday, Feb. 23. Purchase tickets on our website ( to join the celebration!

Clubhouse Chronicles is a twice-a-month, behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club during the winter months. It runs in the Friday Outdoors section.