Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Steamboat Springs Barb Shipley has always felt like one of Hazie Werner's adopted children.
After her death, Shipley wanted to do something that would honor Werner's spirit. So she began organizing an annual event to raise money for a local nonprofit agency that provided a social service.
"The first year we raised $10,000 for Lift-Up of Routt County because Hazie was all about taking care of everyone in her life - family and friends and anybody else that happened to pass through," Shipley said. "She was notorious for having Christmas dinner for 40 people after she'd worked most of the day. In one year, she feed 2,000 people that passed through town."
This year's event will be an Almost New Year's Eve party in the Priest Creek Ballroom of the Steamboat Grand Resort on Dec. 30. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and Banks & Shane will provide music beginning at 8 p.m.
"They are a country party band out of Atlanta that used to be the number one band in the ski resorts," Shipley said. "And Brent Rowan will probably get up and play a few songs with the band."
The benefactor this year will be Partners of Routt County youth mentoring program.
We choose them because Hazie mentored every child, Shipley said. "And they just had a bunch of federal funding cuts."
There will not be an entrance fee this year and no matter how much money is raised, Partners is guaranteed a $10,000 check.
"Instead of selling tickets this year, we are just relying on donations," Shipley said. "My famous line is that we'll take donations at the door and I hope there's some zeroes on there."
The event is intended to be an opportunity to spend some quality time with friends and family.
"I just wanted people to come and enjoy a big party where everybody knew each other and could catch up," Shipley said. "It's just about enjoying everybody's company."
And it's important to Shipley that people remember and honor the mother of one of the founding families, who also were the first skiing family in the valley.
"Hazie Werner was the epitome of Steamboat hospitality and was a very humble woman," Shipley said. "She was the cornerstone and a once in a lifetime human being."