Friday, July 18, 2008

Hats off for Harriman Trail

Fundraiser boosts local trails network

Express Staff Writer

They got the memo: In a scene reminiscent of: “My Fair Lady,” black and white outfits were surprisingly de rigueur at a party that celebrates being green. From left to right, Vicki Hammond, Trina Peters, Barbara Thrasher, Gail Elkins, Sheree Kavanagh, Jenny Busdon, Leslie Hanks, Bobbie Hunt, Sally Boettger, Esther Oschman, Carol Nie, Hilarie Armstrong, Susan Pasovoy and Robyn Watson. Photo by Dana DuGan

At the eighth annual Ladies' High Tea to benefit the Harriman Trail, Wood River Valley women showed the love.

Eight years ago, Barbara Thrasher wanted to help the Blaine County Recreation District clean up the Harriman Trails in the summer. In the winter trail pass fees help support the grooming of the section of the North Valley Trails, but in the summer there was no money to keep it groomed. What she proposed became a dedicated lot of women who, besides supporting the trail through the annual tea party, regularly hike the trail.

"It was no small feat," Thrasher said. "It's now the jewel that connects Galena to Ketchum."

An anonymous donor will match the amount made at the tea party, Kris Stouffer, the Rec. District's development director, said.

The 19.6-mile trail follows the course of the Big Wood River, alternating through meadows, aspen stands and lodgepole forests with the Boulder Mountain in the backdrop.

The Rec. District is fundraising for a major gifts campaign called Build the Future, which will include the Harriman.

"We want to make sure we can sustain everything at Galena—the trails and all the programs with Galena," Stouffer said.

The party is hosted every year by a group of women who make all the sweets and savories served during the High Tea. The hosts this year were Jenny Busdon, Ellen Campion, Sue Green, Sarah Mars, Kim Kawaguchi, Linda McClatchy, Esher Oschman, Thrasher, and Erin Zell. It was held at the Gimlet home of Diana Strandberg.

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