After an amazing snowy winter (that just doesn’t seem to want to stop!), summer will soon be here. Before we look ahead to warmer days, let’s do a quick review of what was a terrific winter 2022/23 for Vail Club 50. And as this is a volunteer led organization, I want to recognize all the efforts of our fantastic volunteers and request your support by volunteering to lead or co-lead an event this summer.
Please join me in thanking John Kelleher (Winter Sports Director) along with our too-many-to-name-all-of-them winter activity volunteers, for their outstanding leadership and execution of the great variety of sports activities enjoyed by VC50 members this past winter. The activities and their coordinators were: Tuesday & Thursday Vail Alpine Skiing – Skip Thurnauer & Merrill Rowe; Monday Beaver Creek Alpine Skiing – Michelle Rae; Snowshoe Hiking – LaVonne Feigeles; Ski Touring – Theresa Patten; and Uphill Spike & Skin – Kate Pennella & Laura Morone.
While Vail Alpine Skiing participation did not return to pre-COVID levels, Beaver Creek Alpine Skiing experienced higher than ever participation levels. Snowshoeing saw a record 40 snowshoe hikes, 30% more than last year (16 Black, 13 Blue & 11 Green). Ski Touring featured an early season clinic for members new to this activity as well as short-notice “pop-up” outings when snow conditions were optimal.
Let’s also thank Kim Malek and Patty Thomsson (Winter Social Co-Directors), along with our again too-many-to-name winter social event coordinators and volunteers. Member participation in the 34 social events and gatherings totaled almost 1,500.
VC50’s Singles Group returned to having over 200 members and, in addition to traditional get-togethers at members’ homes, enjoyed singles ice kettles as well an evening of dinner and ice hockey enjoying the Vail Yeti’s vs Fire Department of New York game at the Dobson Ice Arena.
Winter Leader Recognition
140 of the many volunteers who made the above-mentioned sports and social events so incredibly successful enjoyed a terrific end-of-season Leaders Recognition Party at 4 Eagle Ranch.
Board of Directors Changes
John Kelleher’s term as Winter Sports Director and Kim Malek’s term as Winter Social Co-Director each ended March 31, 2023. Wendy Klein has agreed to serve as our next Winter Sports Director and Karen Avery will join Patty Thomsson as our Winter 2023/24 Social Co-Directors. Wendy’s and Karen’s terms will run from April 2023 through March 2025. Please join me in welcoming them to VC50’s Board of Directors and thanking them for their coming contributions.
Now on to this coming summer…
Summer Sports Director Pat McFarland and her coordinators all are stepping up to provide a summer season full of opportunities to get outside and stay fit in our beautiful mountain atmosphere. Summer Sports coordinators are:
Green - Barb Wahle and Linda Krauss
Blue - Michelle and Lewis Ribner
Black – Cristi Musser
Double Black – Bruce Crow
Currently there are 78 hikes on the calendar (27 Double Black, 18 Black, 15 Blue and 18 Green) and we expect more will be added to the calendar as summer approaches. We will continue monthly rolling signups – registration for June hikes will open May 15, July hikes on June 15 and so on. New this summer: Due to so many hikes last year having filled so quickly resulting in many members being waitlisted, non-member guests will no longer be allowed on VC50 hikes unless 1) a hike does not fill to capacity before the hike date, 2) no members are on the waitlist and, 3) the hike leader wishes to allow guests on his/her hike.
Hiking is VC50’s most popular summer activity, so we need more folks to step up to be hike leaders to meet member demand. To sign up, please click on the below link for the level of hike you would like to lead:
Biking – Joseph Staron
Currently, 28 road and mountain bike rides are on the calendar for June, July and August; more rides are expected to be added and September dates will be filled in the coming weeks. We will be using monthly rolling registrations for biking on the 16th of the prior month.
To volunteer to lead a bike ride, please click the following link: Biking Leader Sign-up Sheet
Pickleball (New in 2023!) - Lewis Ribner and Nina Wise
Many thanks to Michelle Ribner for her hard work arranging this new summer activity! We’ve reserved 3 Town of Avon pickle ball courts each Tuesday from 3:00 - 5:00. Up to 24 members of all skill levels, including beginners, may register each week. Cost to play will be $8 each time a member registers to cover court rental fees. Pat McFarland will send a separate email announcing details of the weekly pickleball activity. If you want to receive emails about pickleball this summer, please go into your profile and add Pickleball to your interests (Log in -> Click on your Name -> Profile -> Your Website Functions -> Interests -> Pickleball -> Save at the bottom of your screen)
Adopt-A-Trail – Robin Wagner and Bill Mimeles
Three trail maintenance days are scheduled on VC50’s adopted trail, Stag Gulch. As in past years, lunch will be provided by Suzanne & Ed Padilla to all participants. In addition, they’ll provide swag for members who volunteer for two or more days. Thank you, Suzanne & Ed!
Yoga (New in 2023!) – Jamie Peters and Wendy Klein
Coed Yoga classes will be offered in Avon on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. from June through September adjacent to the bandshell on Nottingham Lake. Jamie and Wendy are both yoga instructors and will share the instruction responsibilities.
Summer 2023 social co-leaders Roz Mangone and Susan Meints, with strong assistance from Kelley Smith and Joy Solow, have been working hard getting an exciting array of over 35 fun events, both large and small, on the VC50 calendar this summer. They and I are so pleased that many of you already have volunteered to plan and organize one or more of these events. Several “save the dates” and a few “live” events are already posted on our website and more will be posted as details are firmed up, so start marking your summer calendars now.
We have brought back some popular summer events, updated a few of our signature events and added some brand-new events. As you know, we are still dealing with tremendous price increases in the valley, which has made it difficult to keep prices in check. We hope you will be pleased with our efforts to provide fun, yet not too costly events for you.
VC50 seeks more leaders so we can have more events and activities and avoid having members go on waitlists. All Club officers, directors and event leaders volunteer their time providing members with the best menu of social events and sports activities for 50+ year olds in the Valley. How about contributing a bit of your time leading a hike or bike ride or planning and organizing, or helping execute an overall member or singles group social event? Volunteer leaders will be eligible for our end-of-summer Leadership Appreciation Party and swag.
If you are not comfortable going solo your first time leading a Club event or activity, that’s perfectly okay. The Club will happily partner you with an experienced leader to co-lead your first event. Just contact the coordinator of the activity you are interested in co-leading and he or she will help locate a co-leader for you.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of the over 120 new members who’ve joined Vail Club 50 this Oct ’22 – Sep ’23 fiscal year and love their enthusiasm for the Club! Many have told me how welcoming everyone in VC50 has been; please continue to welcome new members as you meet them at activities and events.
Vail Club 50 continues to be strong, healthy and active. With continued support from our excellent volunteers, we can continue to be the premier organization where 50+ year olds in the Valley can enjoy a fun, active and healthy lifestyle. Please check our website on a regular basis so you won’t miss out on the fun!
President, Vail Club 50