Red, White and Snow fundraiser for the National Ability Center turns eight
The National Ability Center, a nonprofit organization, "exists to transform the lives of individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs," according to its mission statement.
In order to do all those things, which often include skiing, aquatics, cycling, equestrian, archery, snowboarding and other sports, it needs money.
That was one of the reasons it started the Red, White and Snow fundraiser eight years ago, said Rena Webb, the NAC’s director of strategic partnerships.
"We originally had some volunteers who reached out to wine makers in Napa Valley with the idea to create a culinary and wine event and fundraiser that has truly grown into our signature event," Webb said during an interview with The Park Record. "It has grown into a three-day event, with five different activities over the weekend."
This year’s Red, White and Snow will take place at various resorts and homes in Park City from Thursday, March 8, until Sunday, March 11.
"The event brings in a lot of money for our organization and our budget depends on it," Webb said. "The neat thing is there is something for everyone who comes, even if they aren’t a wine connoisseur."
The festivities begin on Thursday with Red, White and Snow Uncorked.
"It’s a kick-off event hosted by St. Regis, who has been a wonderful partner with us in the community." Webb said. "It’s a wine-tasting event that is very intimate and is heavy on the hors d’oeuvres and features live music. The setting gives people an opportunity to have some one-on-one time with the winemakers."
Friday’s events, which include Skiing with Legends, which takes place at Deer Valley and gives the vintners an opportunity to ski with some local Olympic and Paralympic talent, is not open to the public, Webb explained.
"Later that day we’ll have more wine tasting at St. Regis, and that evening, we’ll have 20 different private dinners all over the city, which will be cooked by Park City-area’s executive chefs," she said. "The owners at St. Regis, Michael Zaccaro and Jim Smith have been absolutely wonderful to partner with and have opened up their hotel to us.
Red, White and Snow will culminate with the gala and dinner auction Saturday night at Montage Deer Valley, emceed by actor Treat Williams.
"We’ll hold live and silent auctions that will include items such as a bronze by renowned sculptor Dave McGary and paintings by acclaimed artist Thomas Arvid, who is our featured artist this year," Webb said.
Thomas will be painting on site for each of the events, beginning with Uncorked and will create a multi-media piece, worth about $35,000, that will be auctioned off.
"His works are extremely realistic, and we are fortunate to have him this year, because he has a five-year waiting list for his appointments," she said. "Getting him here was a collaboration with the Redstone Gallery. Co-owner Jenece Lemon set it up."
The gala will also feature a speech from Blake Smith, a military veteran and double amputee who participated in the "Wounded Warriors" NAC program earlier this year.
"We’re flying him in from California to share his stories about his tours of duty," Webb said. "The NAC is really growing and is in a transitional period. Our ‘Wounded Warriors’ outreach program that helps military personnel who are returning from their tours of duty with different issues and challenges has grown more than 400 percent.
"That alone is pushing out our seams and making us regroup and revaluate our strategic plan," she said.
Sunday will wind down the 2012 Red, White and Snow at the Waldorf Astoria at Canyons Resort with a "Buyers Rejoice" gathering, Webb said.
"It’s not a ‘buyer’s-remorse event, because it celebrate the people who purchased the prizes during the auctions the night before," she said.
Being a part of Red, White and Snow has been exciting for Webb, experienced her first last year.
"There is a lot of momentum and community support behind this event," she said. "We consider the vintners who come into year after year as part of our family. Those that come are truly winemakers themselves, the actual owners of the vineyards or both. They truly have a vested interest in their vineyards and have a love and appreciation for our mission and the people we serve."
The eighth annual Red, White and Snow fundraiser for the National Ability Center will be held from Thursday, March 8, until Sunday, March 11. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.redwhiteandsnow.org or http://www.discovernac.org
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