The United Way of Eagle River Valley hosts a Spanish evening in Vail |

The United Way of Eagle River Valley hosts a Spanish evening in Vail

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
Patsy Rowe, executive director Gretchen Babcock, Shawnna Frank and board member Tyra Rudrud celebrate a successful fundraiser for The United Way of Eagle River Valley at The Vail Mountain Club.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Last Monday, at the Vail Mountain Club, The United Way of Eagle River Valley hosted an elegant evening of wine tasting and hors d’oeurves featuring wines of Spain and tapas. On this occasion the local chapter’s Board of Directors shared their vision for supporting the critical needs of our valley. The United Way is a valuable grant resource to over thirty Eagle County non-profits including Vail Valley Charitable Fund, The Salvation Army, Bright Future Foundation, CASA, Habitat for Humanity and SOS Outreach, to name a few.

The United Way has done extraordinary work to improve people’s lives and build strong communities focusing on advocacy for education, health, income or non-profit strengthening issues. Donations touch 1,000’s of lives by helping families with basic needs, healthcare access and enriching education. All of the money raised in Eagle County stays here.

Patsy Rowe spoke to guests expressing her high level of comfort in donating to The United Way of Eagle River Valley.

“It is important to be generous but, you want your generosity to really be effective. You want the help to get to the people who need it the most … for me, The United Way was the perfect solution … they know the non-profit community and who gets the job done and evaluates the outcomes,” Rowe said.

SOS Outreach student Kevin Garcia shared his experiences in working with the non-profit.

“In my first four years with SOS, I learned about core values and starting respecting my parents more..and it just hasn’t stopped from there … I got recognition at school and am helping raise money for Syrian refugees … I want to have a positive impact on my community. I am just trying to help out,” Garcias said.

Garcias also publicly thanked Arn Menconi and SOS for the opportunity to be a peer mentor in a great program.

Vail Valley Salvation Army’s Tsu Wolin-Brown told guests about the organization’s 31-year history, during which she volunteered for 21 years and has been on staff for ten years. Wolin-Brown then introduced family leader, Meighen Lovelace, who shared, “Tsu and The Salvation Army provided an opportunity for my family to create stability for itself.”

Executive director Gretchen Babcock was thrilled with the turnout and the new venue. Thanks went out to the Vail Mountain Club and their staff, as well as Blue Plate Bistro for supplying the tapas. The wines were generously donated by Riverwalk Wine and Spirits and 100 percent of the proceeds from wine sales went directly to The United Way of Eagle River Valley.

For more information on how to donate, volunteer or apply for a grant visit

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events, fundraisers for non-profits and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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