Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nordic spirit abounds

Annual benefit supports sport and trails year-round

Express Staff Writer

Galena Lodge north of Ketchum is a hub for snow enthusiasts of all make and model. Photo by Willy Cook

This time last year, Richard Byerley, an alfalfa farmer from Washington, and his wife took a chance on a trip to Kilimanjaro, an auction item at the annual Galena Lodge benefit. By fall, the 84-year-old and his grandkids were celebrating at the summit. These are the kinds of opportunities made possible by a small log lodge north of Ketchum and the passionate people who keep it running.

Like baseball is to the Midwest, Nordic skiing is to parts of the West—a great equalizer. It's a sport that can be afforded by most, mastered by even the slightly determined and enjoyed solo or with a group.

Galena Lodge is central to maintaining that spirit in this valley. To celebrate that and to kick off this year's Sun Valley Nordic Festival, the annual Galena Lodge and Ski Trails Benefit Dinner and Auction will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, in the Limelight Room of the Sun Valley Inn.

The fundraiser allows for the maintenance of the lodge and the trails without the use of public funds.

"The benefit has always been warmly welcomed because it is such a great cross section of valley residents," explained organizer Jenny Busdon, whose dedication to Nordic skiing and the legacy of Galena earned her Hall of Fame status this year through the Ketchum-Sun Valley Ski and Heritage Museums.


The benefit evening includes a three-course meal and wine, a live and silent auction, a raffle for a Sun Valley alpine/BCRD Nordic combo pass as well as other items and music by All Night Diner.

Some of the live auction items are an ultimate New Orleans experience, which includes a three-night stay for two with breakfast at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, two VIP admissions to the Preservation Jazz Hall that include front-of-the-line entry, run-of-the-house seating and exclusive access to the courtyard before and after the first set, and a six-course dinner for two at the Commander's Palace, and two roundtrip coach air tickets with American Airlines anywhere it flies in the U.S. or Canada.

There is also a fully supported Kilimanjaro trek, a two-night stay for four at a luxurious cabin on the Big Lost River with guided fly fishing, lunch from Cristina's for five and a six-day guided raft trip on the Main Salmon River for two. Silent auction items include sports gear, art, dinners and jewelry.

Tickets are $95 and can purchased individually or in groups. For more details, visit

This event is usually sold out, so call Megan Stevenson at 578-5489 for more information or to buy tickets.

Galena Lodge and Ski Trails Benefit Dinner and Auction

When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Limelight Room of the Sun Valley Inn

Tickets: $95.

Information: 578-5489 or

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