NAC readies its annual Red, White and Snow fundraiser
Ryan Summerlin March 5, 2013
The National Ability Center (NAC), a non-profit organization, is "committed to the development of lifetime skills for people of all ages and abilities by providing affordable outdoor sports and recreational experiences in a nurturing environment," according to its mission statement.
Every year it serves more than 2,500 individuals with about 105 types of disabilities, and has awarded 142 scholarships within the past year, said executive director Gail Loveland.
That is why it presents Red, White and Snow, an annual wine and food fundraiser that holds events at St. Regis Deer Valley, an array of private homes in Park City and caps it off with a formal gala dinner and auction at the Montage Deer Valley.
"This is our largest fundraiser of the year and we depend on it," Loveland said. "Our program fees only cover 30 percent of our total programming costs, so we have to raise the additional 70 percent. Without programs like this, we can’t do our own programming."
This year, the event will be held Thursday, March 7, through Saturday, March 9.
The Thursday and Friday public events will be held at St. Regis Deer Valley, which has been involved with the Red, White and Snow for four years.
The Thursday kick off dubbed "Uncorked," begins at 6 p.m. at the Astor Ballroom. Dress is mountain casual and cost is $150 per person.
Honorary chair Trifecta Wines and other renowned winemakers will be in attendance and will feature heavy hor d’oeuvres, live music and paintings by Thomas Arvid.
The public event on Friday is known as Wine on the Mountain and begins with skiing in the morning and a lunch at the Astor Terrace at 12:30 p.m. Admission is $100 per person in advance and $125 at the door.
"I think it so cool that people have the opportunity to ski with one of the NAC’s participants if they want to in the morning," Loveland said. "We also have former Olympians and Paralympians coming to the event as well.
"It’s great that people can come to this event and learn what we do at the National Ability Center," she said. "And the lunch is an opportunity for vintners and people to sit around a table and enjoy food and new wines."
These events, even the vintner dinners that are held Friday night at various private Park City homes, have a family feel to them.
"From the vintners who come from Napa Valley to the St. Regis staff including Executive Chef Chip McMullin all welcome us with open arms every year," Loveland said. "When you ski off the mountain and see and smell all this food laid out, it feels like a large family gathering.
"And we make sure one of the National Ability Center participants speak at these dinners, so guests can learn about what we do," Loveland said.
The menus for the events are selected through collaboration.
"We have come to understand each other through the relationship we have created over the years," McMullin said. "We all come to the table with something and I respect their wishes and if they want something different, I honor it."
To create these dishes, McMullin said he has a responsibility to maintain a high standard.
"There is a reason why people come to St. Regis," he said. "As far as food and beverage goes, I need to make sure I buy the highest quality I can get my hands on."
McMullin said he enjoys working with the NAC for the Red, White and Snow.
"Everyone is so gracious, humble and so appreciative," he said. "There are times when this hotel doesn’t have that type of clientele, but it’s different when Red, White and Snow is here. It’s our favorite event."
The relationship between the NAC and the hotel started with St. Regis owner Michael Zaccaro from Deer Crest Jana, said Terri Gentry, director of St. Regis’ catering and conference services.
"He is very involved with Napa Valley and there has always been a drive from the ownership for us to be involved with anything that has to do with food and wine," Gentry said. "It just so happened that part of that is through the National Ability Center and it was important to Michael that we be supportive of the community."
Red, White and Snow will be held March 7 through March 9 at St. Regis Deer Valley and the Montage at Deer Valley. For more information, visit www.discovernac.org.