Hey, Spike! highlights hardworking Senior Games volunteers in Frisco | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! highlights hardworking Senior Games volunteers in Frisco

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

Miles F. Porter IV

Marking the 38th year, the Summit County 50+ Winter Games are set for Feb. 11-13 at Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts and the Frisco Nordic Center.

While the active senior athletes get the spotlight, much of the credit should go to the volunteers — over a hundred of them.

Always quick to praise those efforts is Sandy Bainbridge, who handles publicity for the Games.

Sandy notes two of the lead volunteers: Cathy Sapp, who is running the skating and Alpine events at Keystone this year; and Darlene Dietzler, who is in charge of the fundraising and record keeping for the donations.

In addition to the Vail Resorts' Keystone and Breckenridge support, Darlene noted other large donors are Alpine Bank, Arapahoe Cafe, Bright Health, Grand Timber Lodge, Gold Pan Bar and Restaurant, Town of Frisco, Kaiser Permanente, Pho Bay II Restaurant, US Bank, Vail Epic Promise and Summit County.

"Cathy and Darlene are certainly key this year and have been for the last several years," Sandy notes.

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Other volunteers guiding the Games include the Beckers, Barbara (she is chairperson) and husband Lee; Maggie Cox sets up the silent auction; Chip Babbit handles IT for registrations and stats for races as well takes photos, along with Tim Orwick, who has been the lead photographer for years.

Sandy also directs attention to Joan Tilden, the new Nordic events organizer; Steve Bainbridge, coach and organizer of the free Alpine Race Clinics at Keystone and Breckenridge; Judy Campbell is chairing the popular spaghetti dinner; Helen and Don Gerstein continue as strong fundraisers; Nancy Mooney's photography; Dick Hawley, a friend of the Bainbridge family who has come for the last five years from Minneapolis, takes photos and helps with Alpine races.

Earning special recognition is Vanessa Agee, with the town of Frisco, who has helped for several years with marketing and press releases in her own time. Recognized as Friend of Seniors 2017-Town Award, "she really is the person who should get the credit," says Sandy.

"A large part of the Games is the annual silent auction, which brings in about 70 percent of the fundraising dollars," explains Sandy. "Last year we raised $14,000 from the Games, all of which went back to fund senior services and senior activities in the county."

Combined with the silent auction items, Summer Rummage Sale and Frisco Barbecue Margarita Booth, the seniors generated a total of about $60,000, according to Sandy.

"Summit seniors focus on what brings people to Summit County — a passion for the outdoors, and the 50+ Winter Games provide lighthearted competition to highlight that passion," Sandy told Summit Daily reporter Antonio Olivero in his Jan. 23 story.

"And I believe that through the Games we also challenge the idea that your athleticism ends at 50, 60, 70 or 80. For some people, this is their time to discover new talents and interests, and they finally have the time to train," Sandy said.

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com

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