From fleece to fashion: Skiing’s another kind of ball |

From fleece to fashion: Skiing’s another kind of ball

Special to the DailyThe Nacho Men deliver their blend of music and entertainment Saturday at this year's Ski Ball benefitting Team Summit at the Keystone Conference Center.

KEYSTONE – Sure, they can link turns. But when it’s time to take off the fleece and deal with fashion terms like, say, cuff links, can skiers and riders keep up?The answer remains to be seen at Saturday’s 24th annual Ski Ball, a fundraiser for Team Summit. But here’s a hint: Throughout the years, the event has become more and more elegant, said Deb Cirillo, Ski Ball chairperson.Last year the black tie theme really came out with the theme, An Affair to Remember. This year coordinators continue the trend with “Some Enchanted Evening,” tapping into a “South Pacific” theme.”We hear repeatedly that our guests enjoy the Ski Ball because it’s an evening where we take the little black dress and pearls out of our closet, and some of our very handsome men look great in their black tuxs,” said Amy Critz of Team Summit. “We’re in ski clothes and heavy sweaters 200 days a year now, so especially for our staff and people working on the mountain, it feels great to get into something a little more slinky.”

Unlike Wine in the Pines, where a couple of people dare to wear jeans, Cirillo says she’s never seen anyone wear denim at the event.”It’s a very classy affair,” Cirillo said.The evening begins with libations and appetizers at 5 p.m. followed by a sit down dinner at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.Cirillo and Critz spent a month planning the four-course meal with chef Joseph Damonte. After several suggestions and taste testing, they settled on main entrees of beef tenderloin and seared striped sea bass with an Asian flavor.

Throughout the evening, a silent auction offers about 500 items. After dinner, the live auction features snowcat trips, a makeover package, dinner prepared by a chef from the Colorado Mountain Culinary Institute, a private beach party at Arapahoe Basin, beachfront accommodations and golf in North Carolina and a trip to Tucson, Ariz., among other items.Then the Nacho Men take the stage, blending favorite dance tunes, costume changes, choreography and side-splitting humor for a high energy rock show.Whether you love to twist and shout, swing and bop or shake your groove thang, the Nacho Men offer a full spectrum of sights and sounds as they revisit the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s with their unique form of “funtertainment.”

“We wanted to do music that brought people’s youth back – songs about dating, love and cars,” Nacho Men originator Frankie Diamond said. “It’s fun, simple, family-friendly music. I’ve seen 5-year-olds and 95-year-olds dancing to our music.”The band’s name has nothing to do with Mexican food, but rather with muscle-bound men. The band members considered themselves one cut above “macho men,” hence the name Nacho Men.Being a step ahead, the Nacho Men don’t just play covers; they’ve been known to add novelty acts to their performance, such as a Sonny-and-Cher act complete with banter; a takeoff on The Village People with Diamond’s 3-foot wig; and a cross-dressing Nachettes act.Tickets are $100 and may be purchased by calling (970) 390-9901.Team Summit usually raises about $65,000 through the event, Critz said. Proceeds underwrite program fees for athletes on Team Summit. More than 330 athletes, ages 6-25, participate in Team Summit’s alpine ski racing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The majority of the participants are in middle and high school.

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