Sailor Luau raises more than $10K for Steamboat groups |

Sailor Luau raises more than $10K for Steamboat groups

Luke Graham

A dancer performs Tuesday at the inaugural Sailor Luau. The event netted more than $10,000 for the Steamboat Springs Booster Club, the Pio Utu Scholarship Foundation and the Parent Information Committee.

— The response to this week's Sailor Luau really shouldn't come as a surprise. There's a special bond between Steamboat Springs and its athletic endeavors.

But even Steamboat Springs High School Booster Club President Scott Glynn was blown away by the success of the inaugural Sailor Luau, which benefited the Booster Club, the Pio Utu Scholarship Foundation and the Parent Information Committee at the high school. The event netted more than $10,000.

"I didn't expect that," Glynn said. "We didn't anticipate that level of support."

An estimated 450 people attended the luau organized by Pio Utu. The event included a roasted pig by Rick Spencer as well as restaurant donations from Steamboat Smokehouse, Freshies and Ciao Gelato.

Other businesses that donated to the event included Alpine Bank, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Haymaker Golf Course, Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course, Catamount Ranch & Club, B&K Distributing and City Market, among others.

There was live dancing by high school students and professional dancers. A live auction netted money, as did a $1,000 donation from the Ski Town USA Rotary Club.

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"It exceeded my expectations," Glynn said. "The plan is to make this spring luau an annual event. I think it can be a cornerstone in our fundraising events. There were a lot of things that went into it."

The luau was the second consecutive one Utu has organized that has seen tremendous success. In 2009 he organized one for the Samoan Tsunami Relief Fund that raised $28,000.

Utu said Thursday he wasn't surprised at the outpouring of people.

"We were expecting there were going to be a lot of people," Utu said. "We knew the community was going to come over. It was good to get the kids involved in the program."

In addition to raising funds, the luau recognized a Coach of the Year and a Fan of the Year.

Steamboat boys lacrosse coach Bob Hiester received the recognition of Coach of the Year after helping his team to its fourth consecutive conference championship and the first playoff win in school history.

Luther and Helen Berntson were named the Fans of the Year for their continued dedication to high school sports in Steamboat.

"It was certainly a testament to how important it is for these families to have these extracurricular activities for their kids," Glynn said. "We had people there that didn't have kids currently playing or have never had kids in the school. It shows how important this is to the community."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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