Students raise funds for Sherpa lodge rebuilding with special cookbook |

Students raise funds for Sherpa lodge rebuilding with special cookbook

The Sherpas, bottom right corner, pose along with fourth-grade students from Fraser Valley Elementary last fall.
Courtesy photo

When the Sherpa family of Nepal lost their lodge to a fire late last year, the local communities of Grand County pitched in to help fund the rebuilding efforts. Now students from Fraser Valley Elementary are preparing to publish a cookbook with proceeds going to reconstruct the Sherpa’s lodge.

The cookbook, which will be printed in late May, will feature recipes collected from Fraser Valley Elementary families as well as a few Nepalese recipes provided by the Sherpa family. Fraser Valley’s fourth-graders are currently collecting recipes from the local community. The students are also writing brief history snippets on Grand County, detailing historic facts about things like Winter Park Ski Resort and Hideaway Park, which will be included in the cookbook along with the recipes.

The idea to make a cookbook came from Fraser Valley fourth-grade teacher Patty Finnigan after seeing a Steamboat Springs fundraiser employ the same concept.

“I was thinking this would be a good idea of how we could help the lodge and our sister school,” Finnigan said.

Fraser Valley Elementary entered into a “sister school” partnership nearly three years ago with the Hillary School in Khumjung, Nepal. The Hillary School, which was founded by famed mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, is assisted each year through nonprofit donations that are distributed to the school by the Sherpa family.

Unfortunately, late last year the Sherpa’s mountain lodge in Nepal, which serves as both their home and primary source of income, was destroyed in a fire. Since then the Sherpas, who could not access insurance for the property, have been working to raise funds to rebuild the lodge, estimated at a cost of over $300,000.

Karma Sherpa, son of Tashi and Lakpa Sherpa, is currently attending school at Metropolitan State University in Denver where he is studying restaurant management, and has volunteered at both the Hillary School in Nepal and spent last fall working with students at Fraser Valley. He said his family is planning to submit a few recipes for the cookbook including a recipe for momos, a type of meat dumpling.

“It (the cookbook and other fundraising activities) means a lot,” Karma said. “Winter Park and Fraser have been amazing to my family for the past 19 years, we are very grateful.”

Karma said the lodge rebuilding process is in the works in Nepal and roof construction was just getting underway on Monday, though he cautioned that the structures are only skeletal exteriors at this point.

“I would like to thank the towns of Winter Park and Fraser on behalf of my family,” Karma said. “My mom says it is our second home. It is just very humbling and nice. It is lovely. The whole family is grateful.”

Fraser Valley fourth-grade teacher Cindy Rimmer said the cookbooks will be available to those who preordered copies June 4 and recommended anyone interested in obtaining a copy submit their order forms early. Officials from the school said they expect to print roughly 300 copies and noted that supplies of the cookbooks will be limited. They are priced at $20.

If you are interested in preordering a copy of the cookbook or submitting a recipe for consideration you can email either Finnigan or Rimmer at their school email address: and Order forms can also be picked up in person at Fraser Valley Elementary. Recipe submissions deadline is May 27.

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