Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Galena benefit is all smiles

14th annual fundraiser brings out valley trail lovers


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Jenny Busdon and Elephant’s Perch co-owner Bob Rosso are a driving force behind the Galena benefit. Photo by Willy Cook

It's that time of year when Wood River Valley Nordic skiers and snowshoers gather to support their favorite trails and the oasis that is Galena Lodge.

"I think the reason why most people live here is because of the incredible recreational opportunities we have in this community," said Kris Stoffer, Blaine County Recreation District development and marketing director. "One of the benefits is our amazing, world-class Nordic ski system, which includes the gem at the top, Galena Lodge. None of it could exist without the community coming together every year to support it."

The 14th annual Galena & the Trails Winter Benefit dinner and live and silent auction fundraiser will take place at the Sun Valley Inn Limelight Room on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $85 and include a three-course dinner accompanied by wine. The silent auction opens at 5:30 p.m. and celebrated valley musician Bruce Innes will play for the opening.

"The Galena benefit brings everyone together so they can visit and connect with people who love Nordic skiing and snowshoeing," Stoffer said. "It will be a very fun evening."

In 1994, the community came together and raised money to buy Galena Lodge, which was going to be torn down after the owner had unsuccessfully tried to sell it. After it was purchased, the lodge was donated to the Blaine County Recreation District. Each year since, the lodge has been operated as a concession and maintained by the district, which relies on donations and trail fees to cover expenses. No tax dollars are used to maintain the lodge or trails. Without consistent annual donations, Galena Lodge could not exist.

Three years ago, the district created Quigley Nordic Winter Park near Hailey.

Some of the great live auction items include a 10-day stay in a 2,700-square-foot, fully furnished luxury apartment in Paris that is a short walk from the Eiffel Tower. Other items include a Napa Valley wine tasting weekend for four, a Western Spirit Cycling Adventures ultimate mountain bike getaway vacation for seven days, a cowboy wagon ride and dinner for 16 at Galena Lodge and a vacation at the Punta Mita Resort in Mexico.

A special item for Nordic lovers is a donation from the Norwegian Olympic Nordic ski team. The team will be training on the Nordic trails in Sun Valley before leaving for the Olympics at Whistler in British Columbia, and team members will donate their time to a lucky couple to ski with some of the Norwegian Olympic coaches and athletes. The opportunity also includes lunch with them and new Olympic skis and race suits.

In addition, this year the benefit will offer over 90 silent auction items, which include trips, jewelry, a stay at a Ritz-Carlton residency apartment in San Francisco and lots of fine wine. Live and silent auction items can be viewed by visiting bcrd.org.

For ticket information and/or to donate a live or silent auction item or service, call Stoffer at 788-2117, ext. 214, or e-mail kstoffer@bcrd.org.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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