Bellman opens doors for struggling family
January 10, 2009
Norman Sorensen of Utah County has friends who do secret acts of service as a kind of hobby. Last month they told him they knew a mother with cancer whose family was overwhelmed with the medical bills. The friends wanted to arrange a dinner and hotel stay to give them a night of escape.
That very day a stranger called Sorensen asking if he knew anyone who would benefit from one of Park City’s most exotic dinner and lodging experiences.
The stranger was Grey Walter, a bellman at the Grand Summit Lodge.
At The Canyons company party Walter won a three-course dinner at the Yonder Yurt (the smaller version of the Viking Yurt for private parties) and a night’s stay in one of the lodge’s two-bedroom penthouses. The package is valued at around $1,900.
Walter has a lot of friends who would have loved to join him for a night of partying, but he decided to find a family to give it to who would never have otherwise had a chance to experience something like this.
He called a friend with his idea, and that person was familiar with Sorensen’s friends.
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"I was totally shocked," said Viking Yurt owner Joy Vik.
She couldn’t believe it when Walter emailed her about his idea.
It wasn’t as easy as passing on a gift certificate. First, Walter had to get permission from Vik and the Grand Summit to transfer the package to a family he didn’t even know. Next, he needed to find a date between radiation treatments that the mother would feel well enough to enjoy the experience.
"It definitely was a task," he said.
But this Sunday the family, who has no idea who Walter is, and vice versa, will enjoy a vacation arranged for them in a most serendipitous manner.
Walter won’t even be there. He’s going on a trip to Tahoe.
"It all kind of coincidentally came about on the same day," Sorensen said. "It’s very interesting that he just thought of it, and the need was there. I totally think he was inspired," Sorensen said.
The Yonder Yurt is a two-and-a-half hour dining experience in which a Snowcat pulls a sleigh from the bottom of the mountain at The Canyons to a yurt high up on the slope where a serving staff awaits the party with a three-course meal prepared at the Red Pine Lodge.