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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


Christensens are honored for advocacy commitments

Express Staff Writer

"They’re mentors to me personally and to the community in all ways," Ric Lum said, at a luncheon honoring his friends Ann and Doug Christensen. The gathering was held at the Sun Valley Lodge Dinning Room in their honor Saturday, March 20.

An annual humanitarian award, now known as the Ann and Doug Christensen Award, was created in conjunction with the 2004 observance of A Season for Nonviolence. Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center decided to make the Christensens the first recipients in recognition of the Ketchum couple’s tireless environmental and community advocacy.

"Doug led the path as a man too. He was a high roller businessman and made this shift into this incredible man," Lum added.

Lum’s wife Leah Flocchini said her grandfather had grown up next to the much younger Doug Christensen in San Francisco. "We always say we’re related."

Ann and Doug Christensen Express photo by David N. Seelig

As one moved around a room full of Christensen admirers, friends and colleagues, stories such as these abounded. Everyone has an Ann and Doug story, which is why the Lodge Dinning Room was awash with tears and hugs and heartfelt moments.

Steve Lentz of Far & Away Adventures said every river trip with the family was to be "reintroduced to the outdoors, to everything, a whole new experience."

The Christensens two daughters, Eloise and Aimée were both at the luncheon, taking quick breaks from their active lives in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., respectively.

"They are just incredible people in their own right," Lentz added.

The Rev. John Moreland, of the Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center, welcomed the gathering by saying "The Season of Non-Violence is about being for something instead of against. It’s a wonderful thing to honor those who stand for that."

Marcia Mode-Stavros, organizer of the luncheon, handed a toy horn to Ann after telling her if the accolades became uncomfortable she should blow the horn. Though she laughed and cried a bit, the horn was never used.

Roy Farrar, a fellow Wolf Education & Research Center board member with Doug Christensen, spoke from the podium. "They make us better by example. They give so much that everyone pulls their own load. It’s refreshing that in their true fashion they’re almost oblivious to this."

He ended by toasting them in the language of the Nez Perce. Translated he said, "From the wolves and from the people, thank you."

R.L Rowsey played several pieces on the piano in between speeches. In one he was accompanied by Ruthann Saphier on flute, and at the end of the program he was accompanied by 10-year-old Everett Ford singing "Climb Every Mountain."

Wood River Middle School seventh-grader Faith Coben read a poem she had written for them. A host of other speeches were given.

Both Christensens stood to speak, off the cuff, following the emotional ceremony.

"We really are grateful Ann said. "This community is so incredible."

"We love you all more than we can say," Doug added. "I share Ann’s feelings and appreciation of what makes this such an incredible place—even more that what the creator has given us—it’s the people who’ve chosen to live here and what living here has done to them."

Mentors, loyal friends and heroes to all, the Christensens continue to inspire with humility and hugs.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.