Tabernash / Grand Huts Fundraiser: Eat, ski, dance
March 14, 2008
Devils Thumb Ranch has once again rolled out the red carpet for the Grand Huts Association and patrons of its Fifth Annual Moonlight Ski Progressive Dinner March 15. The event is the organizations primary fundraiser and proceeds this year will help the GHA build a new ski hut at Second Creek.The hut project has been 12 years in the making as GHA worked to obtain the necessary permits and funds to build the new cabin, which will replace an old A-frame that was condemned by the U.S. Forest Service. The new one-story structure, which will be located just off the Mount Nystrom Trail near the Vasquez Wilderness, is set to include solar heat, gas fireplaces, toilet and gray water filter and isis hoped to be the first of many huts that could link Second Creek to the Grand Lake area.During the Moonlight Ski Progressive Dinner event, around 200 guests of all ages will enjoy skiing or snowshoeing along two lighted trails (one a 5K, the other a shorter trek) at Devils Thumb, with several stops along the way to socialize and refuel. Starting times are 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. and participants are encouraged to bring a headlamp.This has been a great event, even the first year, said David Maddox, GHA treasurer, and weve managed to grow each year.Lanterns light the way to a five-course meal, featuring wine (from Winter Park Winery and Verso Cellars),appetizer and soup stations, with salad, main entre and dessert back at the Broadaxe Barn. A child-friendly menu is also available, something that is new this year.Restaurants helping put together the spread include Rocky Mountain Roastery (coffee), Mirasol Cantina (appetizers), Mountain Grind Coffee & Bistro (chili), Mama Falzittos (vegetable soup and lobster soup), Carlos & Marias (chips and salsa), Timberline Thai (chicken fried rice), Sushi Bar (sushi), Rudis Deli (sandwiches), Smokin Moes (ribs), Untamed Southwest Grill (tri-tips), the Azteca and Crooked Creek Saloon (enchiladas), De Antonios and Randis Irish Saloon (vegetarian lasagnas), Fontenots (Etoufe), Green Olive (lasagna), Mountain Rose Cafe (Atlantic salmon Wellington), Winter Park Pub (pizza), Pizza Hut (bread sticks and pizza), JRs Grill (meat and equipment for serving) and Hungry Bear (desserts).GHA volunteers will be making dozens of homemade cookies, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is donating an 11-pound mountain of fudge. Showboat Catering is also scheduled to help wherever needed and the local Safeway and City Market stores have donated gift certificates for the event.The evening also features a silent auction and live music. Author Wayne Sheldrake is scheduled to be at the silent auction signing copies of his book Instant Karma: The Heart and Soul of a Ski Bum and he has graciously agreed to donate all the proceeds from his book sales that night to the GHA cause. The auction also includes pottery by local artist Patty Alander, a week at a six-bedroom beach house in New Jersey, two-night rental at Cozens Meadow, as well as ski equipment like Atomic skis and Swix poles.The cost includes dinner, trail fee and equipment if needed. Those who purchase tickets before the event receive a $5 discount. Tickets are available at Icebox Sports and Rocky Mountain Roastery in Fraser, Winter Park Market, Budget Tackle, Never Summer Mountain Products and at Devils Thumb.GHA raised $100,000 in 2007 toward the hut project and needs an additional $240,000 to build it. They are also hoping to receive building supplies to meet that financial goal. The Grand Huts Association is a non-profit corporation organized with the long-term vision of linking the countys backcountry with a system of eco-friendly huts that can be used year-round for outdoor pursuits by diverse populations. GHA also promotes outdoor education by providing a venue for teaching safety, wise use and enjoyment of wilderness and national forest lands. To volunteer or donate time, materials, food or silent auction items, call (970) 726-9806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.