Part of Backcountry Ball proceeds to benefit injured local man |

Part of Backcountry Ball proceeds to benefit injured local man

Jack Weinstein

Jim Linville, a teacher at The Lowell Whiteman School and member of Routt County Search and Rescue, is recovering in a Denver hospital from a traumatic brain injury after a fall Oct. 27.

— In addition to raising money to preserve quiet, nonmotorized areas for quality backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, a portion of the proceeds from this weekend's 13th annual Backcountry Ball will support Jim Linville.

Friends of the Routt Backcountry member Wendy Smith Mikelsons said proceeds from a second silent auction and drawing for a Kent Eriksen bicycle frame will be given to Linville and his wife, Joan Donham, to help pay medical expenses.

Linville is a longtime teacher at The Lowell Whiteman School and volunteer member of Routt County Search and Rescue who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall Oct. 27. He also has been a member of Friends of the Routt Backcountry since its inception in 1998.

"I think it speaks to the kind of man he is that the community is coming together to support Jim and Joan," Smith Mikelsons said. "They're very loved in this community. Everyone has wanted to do something since the day (the accident) happened."

The Backcountry Ball takes place from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Depot Art Center. Tickets are $25 each at All That Jazz in advance or $30 at the door.

Linville's recovery continues at the Craig Hospital in Denver. Donham said Wednesday that Linville is becoming independent, walking on his own without a cane or walker inside the hospital. She said they took a two-mile walk, Linville with a cane, on the South Platte River Trail on Saturday in Denver that increased to four miles Sunday.

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Donham said Linville's endurance is increasing while his fatigue decreases. She said his post-traumatic amnesia appears to be gone and his sense of humor has returned.

And Donham added that Linville's medical team had positive news for the family Monday.

"We'll definitely be home before Christmas," she said. "All the doctors and therapists agree he's ahead of the curve."

Friends of the Routt Backcountry Director Leslie Lovejoy said proceeds from the annual ball and auction have paid for studies that helped separate Rabbit Ears Pass into areas for motorized and nonmotorized uses and adding signage to designate those areas.

She said proceeds from this year's event will help pay for a winter ranger for the U.S. Forest Service and training for a new board of directors interested in the future of the backcountry and its evolution.

And of course, proceeds from the second silent auction will benefit Linville, Lovejoy said. Some auction items include an hourlong helicopter tour provided by Search and Rescue and Zephyr Helicopter and a pair of skis and bindings from One Stop Ski Shop.

"Jim Linville has been with the organization since the beginning," Lovejoy said. "He's been instrumental in many ways."

Donham said she and Linville appreciate the support they've received from the community through Linville's page:

linville. She said they were surprised to learn of the support Friends of the Routt Backcountry planned to provide.

"We cried," Donham said. "It's beautiful. The community has just been incredible, the love they're pouring our way, we're feeling it. It's helped. It's helped us continue on this journey, so it's good."

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

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