Registration is open for the National Ability Center’s Red, White and Snow fundraiser |

Registration is open for the National Ability Center’s Red, White and Snow fundraiser

Wine event runs from March 3-5 at Deer Valley

Tyler Olbres, left, pours a glass of wine for Kim Tolbert during Wine on the Mountain, one of the few in-person events held during last year’s Red, White and Snow fundraiser for the National Ability Center.
Park Record file photo

The National Ability Center will raise funds with a little bit of red and a little bit of white.

The adaptive recreational nonprofit recently opened registration for its Red, White and Snow fundraiser that is scheduled to be held March 3-5 at Deer Valley.

After hosting a mostly virtual event last year, Carey Cusimano, National Ability Center’s vice president of development, is looking forward to a live wine-event fundraiser this year.

“The intent is to present an in-person event this year, but, of course, participants will need to show proof of full vaccination or a negative test within the past 72 hours to attend,” she said.

In addition, all in-person events will require masks and social distancing. As the situation evolves, protocols will be updated on the National Ability Center’s website, Cusimano said.

The fundraising goal of this year’s Red, White and Snow is $1 million, which goes toward recreational and sport programs for thousands of individuals of all abilities and their families, she said.

“This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and we have wonderful relationships with all of our participating vintners,” Cusimano said. “It’s wonderful to have them come back to ski, serve wine and help us host this event that raises funds for the programs.”

Activities start Thursday, March 3, with Uncorked, an intimate tasting event that features wines from 32 different vintners, hors d’oeuvres and live music at Stein Eriksen Lodge, she said.

Friday’s events will begin with Wine on the Mountain, a slope-side tasting and lunch après ski party at St. Regis Deer Valley.

In addition to enjoying new and classic wines showcased by participating vintners, participants can dress up in vintage ski wear and participate in a costume contest, Cusimano said.

“We encourage people to get their retro ski outfits ready and come into St. Regis via snow or funicular and join us on the St. Regis patio,” she said.

Friday’s fun will continue with more than 30 vintner dinners that will be held in local private homes and other venues, Cusimano said.

The dinners are created by local chefs, and paired with wines provided by participating vintners, she said.

Red, White and Snow will culminate on Saturday with a black-tie gala dinner and auction at Montage Deer Valley, according to Cusimano.

“We are lucky this year to have adaptive athlete Vasu Sojitra host this year’s gala,” she said, “I had just seen him featured in the new Warren Miller movie, and then the next week we had a fantastic discussion that he was willing to come be our host at the gala.”

The evening will feature top wine selections and cuisines, and attendees will get a chance to meet and interact with vintners who will give wine tips and other advice, Cusimano said.

National Ability Center will also recognize this year’s honorary guests including Honorary Chairpersons Chuck and Colleen Heath, Honorary Vintner Kirk Venge and Honorary Chef Clement Gelas, according to Cusimano.

“Chuck is a former president of the board of the NAC, and he and his wife Colleen are longtime supporters of our event,” she said.

Venge, in addition to being the owner of Venge Vineyards and Croix Estate in Napa Valley, is also a winemaker for other vineyards, while Courchevel Bistro and Talisker Club Chef Clement Gelas is known for his work with the Park City Culinary Institute.

Cusimano and her staff are still procuring items for the auction.

“The auction will go live as we get closer to the event,” she said. “People will be able to bid online and in person at the gala.”

As a postscript to the evening, the National Ability Center will host an after party with DJ Dolph in the Empire East Room, Cusimano said.

“What is great about Red, White and Snow is that (National Ability Center) participants or volunteers will be part of the fun and share their personal experiences,” she said. “So attendees will get a chance to get to know our participants and how they benefit from our programs.”

In a traditional year, pre-COVID, the NAC’s programs served an average of 7,000 people a year, but due to the pandemic and social distancing protocols, the number dropped to about 3,500, Cusimano said.

“There were also certain populations who weren’t able to participate because of compromised immune systems,” she said. “We’re hoping to bet back to our average number of participants when time allows, but we are trying to keep people safe in the meantime.”

Red, White and Snow Fundraiser

When: March 3-5

Where: Various venues


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