A look back at Winter 2105 Social Events

There was something for everyone this past winter with a variety of social events in addition to the regular outdoor sports. All were a great success thanks to our chairpersons who planned and organized them  down to the smallest detail. These gatherings are a wonderful way to renew old friendships and foster new ones. They could not happen without the support of our many volunteers.


Our winter social season began on December 1 with the crowd-pleasing Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. Reservations for the snowshoe and lunch filled up quickly so a second snowshoe and seating were added. Cherryl Kachnenmeister and Tom Berthiaume handled everything from booking the Cookhouse to managing  meal selections. The snowshoe leaders were Tom, Nancy and Hap Young, and Robin Burch. After an invigorating hike through the woods, everyone was rewarded with hot or cold drinks, a delicious lunch, and warm cookies.

The Winter Kick-off Party at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion followed the next day, once again beautifully organized by Sue and Bob Baker. At least 125 members were served beer, wine, and delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by Sue’s loyal kitchen volunteers. A change this year was the addition of tables where members could sign up to lead the various winter sports: cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowshoe. Everyone had a great time greeting friends returning for the winter season and the sports leaders were delighted with their results—they even recruited some rookies!

A snowstorm on December 14 didn’t stop 173 intrepid VailClub 50’ers from dancing the night away at the annual Holiday Gala, held at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek. Ann and Sandy Faison planned the event, but the beautifully decorated ballroom belonged to Leslie Davies and her helpers. Sharri Rozelle again did a fabulous job arranging everything related to the band, JAKARTA, an energetic eight-member ensemble that kept everyone on the floor.

Suzette Newman and Linda Hryckowian coordinated our mid-December trip to Snowmass and arranged for wonderful snow conditions to boot. About twenty-two Vail Club 50 skiers and snowshoers found their way to the Snowmass Mountain Lodge to enjoy three days on Snowmass Mountain. The skiing was terrific and the social evenings even better. The ski -in and ski-out lodge provided lunches on the mountain and the perfect setting for fun-filled apres-ski.


Abby Dixon (for the fourth year in a row!) organized the New Year’s Day Snowshoe and Brunch at Balata’s in Singletree. Over seventy members who weren’t sleeping off the previous night’s indulgences feasted on Eggs Benedict, French toast, applewood smoked bacon and a variety of breads and muffins. Oh… and Bloody Marys and Mimosas too.


New Members Party

A New Members’ Party was put together by Gary Blamire and took place at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion on January 12. Board members spoke about VailClub 50’s various activities and events. Gary welcomed new faces and encouraged everyone to dive in, participate, and volunteer!

Next on the agenda was the annual excursion to Winter Park’s Arlberg Club hosted by Marlene Kearney. Appreciative guests were blessed with beautiful, sunny skies and fabulous snow conditions. They enjoyed wonderful meals before and after downhill and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Many also found plenty of time to visit with friends and curl up with a good book.

January 23 was Movie Night, when at least thirty members enjoyed a potluck dinner and cozied up to watch and then discuss a movie. Leslie Davies and Jane Hall divided the guests among five host homes so that no one had to drive far from the ‘hood.


Tennessee Pass Cookhouse

By popular demand, a second luncheon with two seatings at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse was organized by Lynn Anderson and Alice Boone on January 26. Over sixty members hiked or snowshoed to our private gathering and enjoyed the Cookhouse’s warm hospitality. Eileen Sordi, Nancy Schmitt, Jackie Anthony and Nancy Young were the snowshoe leaders.


Thanks to the efforts of Charlie Sherwood and Paul Chapman, a sell-out crowd gathered at the Gashouse in Edwards on February 1 for Super Bowl XLIX. The only thing that topped an appetizer and dinner buffet fit for champions was one of the most exciting games in Super Bowl history!

Our activities took a break for two weeks so many of our members could volunteer or watch the 2015 World Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. We welcomed thousands of visitors to our wonderful valley as they enjoyed everything it has to offer.

February 20 found many theater-goers at the Eagle Pavilion to watch the Porchlight Players perform “Young Frankenstein.” Marion Laughlin once again arranged the evening filled with delicious snacks and dinner, drinks, and loads of fun. This well-priced event is a true gem in our midst and we’re already looking forward to next year.

There were no disappointed guests at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on February 28 when they heard the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. This group has been nominated for fourteen Grammy awards and received two Grammies for Best Choral Performance. Thanks to Marcia McCalden, tickets were two-for-one, and everyone met in the May gallery for drinks before the concert. Bravo, Marcia!


Lots of laughs (and a bit of swearing) were heard at the Back Bowl in Eagle on March 9. Donna Abbruzzese organized the group into teams and everyone had a great time competing with each other for prizes. Some took a break from their strikes and spares to eat, drink, and cheer on their fellow bowlers.


Ski Race Party

March 12 found forty-four members at the bottom of the Avanti lift in Vail, ready to compete in VailClub 50’s Seventh Annual Ski Race. They skied their best and fastest, then joined twenty more for the apres-ski victory party at Vail’s Up the Creek restaurant, savoring appetizers and well-earned libations. Patsy Rowe was responsible for the success of this lively event.

Melanie Richmond and Angela Penrose brought their creativity to bear in planning the annual Wine and Dine—but this year they renamed it Big Glasses and Small Plates. Hosts were asked to select a theme for the evening such as tapas (Spanish), mezze (Middle Eastern), or antipasti (Italian). Guests prepared dishes and concocted drinks accordingly. It was new twist on an old favorite, with many happy participants.


End of the Season Party at Mango’s

A warm afternoon and cold margaritas were in store for the end-of-season party goers at Mango’s Mountain Grill in Red Cliff, coordinated by our tireless president, Gary Blamire. Everyone enjoyed delicious Mexican food and reminisced about another great winter in our beautiful valley. Several members skied to Mango’s from Vail Pass, earning an extra beer and batch of nachos. What a fun way to wrap up the winter season with fellow VailClub 50 members!

Once again, a very sincere thanks to all of our volunteers for making this past winter season such an enjoyable and successful one. We are always looking for new faces. Please don’t hesitate to step up and get involved. You won’t regret it!

— Ann Faison, 2014-15 Winter Social Chair