The second annual Sun Valley Nordic Festival will start with a lively gathering for the annual Galena & the Trails Winter Benefit dinner and auction fundraiser. The benefit—which is expected to sell out—will take place on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the Sun Valley Inn Limelight Room. Tickets are $100, if any are still available. For details, call 578-5455 or visit www.bcrd.org.
The evening will feature a three-course dinner with wine, live and silent auction and a raffle for a combined Sun Valley ski pass and a youth bike donated by Scott USA.
Live auction packages include an Ultimate Vintner Dinner at Galena Lodge for 20 people, trips to London and Phoenix, Ariz., a ride with mountain biking champions Rebecca Rusch and Greg Martin and Nordic vacation package to Washington's Methow Valley as well as a Nappy Neaman Mountain Goat and Yurt Experience.
In addition, the "5x7 Project," in which local artists and Nordic enthusiasts created art to be auctioned off at the benefit, will also be included in the evening's fundraising events. The benefit raises needed funds that support Galena Lodge and the valley's world-class trail system.
Four hundred and fifty tickets have been sold for this year's benefit.
"It's going to be a sellout, and we are really happy about that," said event chair Jenny Busdon. "It shows our success."
Busdon's been chairing the benefit since its beginning 15 years ago. When she and Mary Austin Crofts decided to create the benefit for Galena Lodge and trail maintenance, there were no other benefits except for Ducks Unlimited.
"We started the benefit thing," Busdon said. "It's very successful and has continued for many years."
This year's event will include live music by the Wood River Valley's own All Night Diner. Busdon said having live music will be a great addition to the evening because the benefit has so many people who are friends and like to hang out.
"We have so many people sitting around," she said. "When the live auction is finished, there is lots of wine left over. We decided we should do something about it."
So they added the live music for people to enjoy while they consumed the remaining wine.
Another fun addition to the evening will be a special fundraising effort by Galena Lodge Manager Don Shepler to save or shave his beard—depending on how much money is raised.
"It will create a lot of fun," Busdon said.
The benefit had been held in November until three years ago, when it was changed to January, which has been a great fit with the Sun Valley Nordic Festival.
"Many people are coming specifically for the benefit," Busdon said. "It shows the economy might be improving. There is great enthusiasm for Nordic skiing this year. The sport is my passion and we are celebrating a passion for the trails and Galena."
Sabina Dana Plasse: firstname.lastname@example.org