Published in the Durango Herald in on March 22, 2016
What do the Abominable Snowmen, Bookworms, Fur Balls and the Gold King Swim Team have in common?
Stumped? They were all team names for the 18th annual Dave Spencer Ski Classic, that one-of-a-kind fundraiser for the Durango Adaptive Sports Association on the last weekend in February.
And what a fundraiser it was. The weekend of activities brought in more than $100,000 – for the third year in a row. And even better than that, it brought out a lot of smiles and laughter.
Twenty-seven teams participated in the weekend Race Day and Mountain Rally, with most getting into the spirit with themes and costumes. The awards banquet at the DoubleTree Hotel topped 175 attendees for the first time, and 21 sponsors, either for the annual, winter or Dave Spencer classic itself, helped make it a success.
For Race Day, individuals and teams estimate what their time will be on the course, so it’s not only the fastest but also the best guessers. Pat Barrett, on the April Fools team, was only 0.01 seconds off his estimate, which merits a “Holy cow!” The Williams Co. team of five members was only 0.29 seconds off its cumulative estimate, which is thiiiiis close to meriting its own exclamation point.
The Wild Ones, also known as the Abominable Snowmen, took home best costume honors, which is saying something in this duded-out crowd. Made up of Adaptive participants Kristin Ingle, Lucas Talbot and Luciano Trujillo, with assistance from volunteers Mary Lasser and Ally Kaufman, you could have put an eye out with those “carrot” noses. The Fur Balls took wackiest costume, which, once again, is saying something.
Shawn Glasco lived up to his Bombers team’s name as the fastest man, and Isabelle Washburn of the Coca-Cola Kids Team was the fastest woman down the course.
Of course, the event is all about raising money for Adaptive Sports, which provides outdoor recreation opportunities for people with cognitive and physical disabilities. So awards went to the top fundraisers, too.
The top fundraising kids team was the Bookworms, who raised $5,600. (They had book jackets taped all over their ski clothes, which also makes them the most erudite team in my book. So kudos to Jacob Papi, Brandon Papi, Kyler Harbison, Carson Harbison and Austin Romero.)