Snowball will be Saturday

Benefit helps Steamboat Mental Health

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— It's billed as the Snowball, but Saturday night's semi-formal affair at the Steamboat Grand represents a chance to escape the drifts and go golfing in Florida.

This year's Snowball, which starts at 6 p.m., is a benefit for Steamboat Mental Health, which faces a growing client list and declining outside funding.

One of the most enticing auction items is a five-night golf vacation for two, including airfare, to Captiva Island, Fla. The Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. donated the trip. There will be many silent auction items as well to allow guests to support Steamboat Mental Health at all levels of bids.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Hazie Werner Award for Excellence to longtime community advocate Millie Beall. Loris Werner, Hazie's youngest son, will present the award on behalf of Ski Corp.

This marks the 15th year the Hazie Award has been presented.

Steamboat Mental Health Center's services include outpatient mental health and substance-abuse counseling; consultation and education; 24-hour emergency services; school-based programs; intensive family intervention; and employee assistance programs.

"The Steamboat Mental Health Center has seen a 113 percent increase in the number of clients seeking mental health services since 1995," said Tom Gangel, program director for the agency. "This increase is expected to continue and the dollars generated from Snowball will go a long way in helping us meet that challenge and provide access to mental health services."

Snowball has earned the recipient as much as $38,000 through auction items, dinner tickets and direct contributions. Some past beneficiaries include Yampatika, the Arts Council, First Impressions, LIFT-UP, Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Steamboat Mental Health, Perry-Mansfield, Partners in Routt County and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

Other auction items include a bronze sculpture by Jim Selbe, massage services, golf lessons, guided fly fishing and powdercat skiing.

Tickets for the semi-formal dinner and auction are still available for $90 per person and $1,500 for corporate tables. The evening will include dancing to the music of The Nacho Men, one of Denver's most popular rock 'n' roll bands.

Call Dianne Stoyko at 871-5403 for reservations.

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