Moonshine Ski & Dine fundraiser to light up Catamount |

Moonshine Ski & Dine fundraiser to light up Catamount

Nicole Inglis

— Scheduling the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps' annual fundraiser is a bit complicated.

It has to be on a weekend, located at a venue with access to cross-country ski trails, and it has to be scheduled around a bright full moon.

"It's not unlike other fundraisers, where we have great food and beer and wine all included and a smashing silent auction," said Gretchen Van De Carr, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps' executive director. "But ours is a little unique in that we include a ski and snowshoe under the light of the full moon."

And this Saturday's Moonshine Ski & Dine is even a bit different from its predecessors. For the first time, the event will be held at Catamount Ranch & Club, and the price has been reduced to $45.

The premise remains the same: The Moonshine Ski & Dine is a cocktail and dinner party as well as a chance to glide and slide on snow under the light of the full moon on the club's trails. The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. and includes chili, cornbread, appetizers, drinks and access to the trails.

"We'll have guided skiing, but people are welcome to go out on their own," Van De Carr said.

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The silent auction includes a David Taylor icicle quilt worth about $2,000, as well as gift certificates to restaurants, massages and yoga, Steamboat Powdercats, Strings Music Festival tickets and BAP and Honey Stinger swag.

Although the full moon isn't until Feb. 7, Van De Carr said Saturday's moon will be almost full and very high in the sky.

And the Ski & Dine isn't just a way to generate funds to supports the Youth Corps' multitude of programs; it's also an extension of their mission.

"Our mission is all about getting people engaged with the outdoors, to promote healthy mental and physical well being, and this is part of that," she said.

The Youth Corps is a nonprofit organization that supports the Conservation Corps program of about 140 young adults every summer, as well as a Service Learning Institute for about 50 middle schoolers every summer.

Revenues from this particular fundraiser mostly will go to support the Yampa Valley Science School, an annual excursion to the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp for all Routt County sixth-graders. At the Science School, sixth-graders put into practice the science concepts they've learned in classrooms.

"As I see the kids coming out to that program, you'd think, as Routt County students, you'd have a lot of exposure, but a lot of kids don't," she said. "For a lot of them, that's their first real big exposure to engage with the outdoors."

For Saturday's fundraiser, guests are encouraged to bring skis or snowshoes and headlamps. The Youth Corps will provide some equipment to borrow, if needed. Call 970-879-2135 for more information.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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