Thursday, November 17, 2011
- Saturday, November 19, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
- Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill, Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs Doing a little snow dance worked last November.
The first Big Snow Dance fundraiser, which was held before the 2010-11 ski season, must have pleased Mother Nature, who gave Steamboat Springs record snowfall in November, a powder-filled La Niña year and 433 inches on the season.
Hopefully, it will work again Saturday at the second annual Big Snow Dance, the largest fundraiser of the year for Friends of the Yampa, a local river conservation nonprofit.
“We’re celebrating the beginning of winter, celebrating the snow that really helps the river out,” Friends of the Yampa board member Kent Vertrees said.
The family-friendly event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Sweetwater Grill, and tickets are $20, which includes food and a drink ticket. The event will continue into the morning hours with live music from local bluegrass bands Ragweed and Old Town Pickers.
There will be a live and silent auction with items donated by the community, including gift certificates and ski passes.
Friends of the Yampa encourages guests to wear their best retro ski outfits to be eligible for prizes.
The river conservation organization has existed for more than 30 years but officially was incorporated as a nonprofit last year.
Vertrees said the momentum has been building ever since the first Big Snow Dance, which raised $10,000.
Those funds became the jumping-off point for a $50,000 matching grant from the Colorado Water Supply Fund, which will go toward an upcoming project to improve the stretch of river from the Ambulance Barn to the confluence of Soda Creek.
Vertrees said the project will begin in the spring or the fall and will improve fish habitat and recreation features such as surf waves for paddle boarding.
Last year’s fundraiser “kind of spearheaded it, and we’re looking to capture that energy in our second year and do more,” Vertrees said. On the heels of the most recent grant, the organization has applied for an even bigger grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to tackle projects identified in the $4 million Yampa River Structural Master Plan.
And Vertrees said Saturday’s fundraiser again will be the basis for these high aspirations.
Last year, he said, more than 100 people attended and danced late into the night.
“It was a good, well-rounded group, a lot of people from the community,” Vertrees said. “Everyone utilizes the Yampa … via walking by it, tubing or kayaking. This is just a way for us to give back and help maintain it.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com