Huge crowd gathers in Vail to celebrate the life of Bindu Pomeroy
MINTURN — For a social studies instructor at a ski and snowboard academy, you couldn’t do any better than Bindu Pomeroy.
That was the message from the many speakers at the celebration of life for the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy teacher on Friday.
Pomeroy died on Nov. 27 while snowboarding in East Vail. On Friday, the Vail Nordic Center was packed with a standing-room-only crowd that spilled outside the building.
Among the hundreds in attendance were members of Pomeroy’s family, who also celebrated his life in Boulder at Crist Mortuary on Saturday. Pomeroy’s brother, Alex Greenberg, was in attendance from New York, along with his sister, Liana Pomeroy, from Boulder.
A look around the audience revealed a who’s who of professional skiers and snowboarders, elected officials, students, coaches, educators, as well as Pomeroy’s many friends from both the Western Slope and the Front Range.
The patchwork of personalities revealed the depth of Pomeroy’s identity.
“He loved the powder, but come Monday morning, he was emailing us about his fantasy football team,” said Pomeroy’s longtime friend Derek Cady, who came in from the Front Range with a large group of Pomeroy’s friends from out of town.
“We always knew he’d do amazing things for young people like you,” Cady told Pomeroy’s many students who were in attendance.
Among those students was Nick Braun, who shared a pair of stories that spoke to Pomeroy’s ability to balance his work with his passion.
“There was one semester where somehow he had his first period at (Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy) as an open hour, or some kind of planning period — I don’t know how they let that happen — I’d be sitting in my first period class and get a text message: ‘Yo can you come let me in the side door, I can’t walk through the office,’” Braun said.
The story was met with laughter, followed by cheers.
It might sound like the type of instructor who parents wouldn’t be crazy about, but if the social studies teacher who shows up late to school also provides your children with the most enriching cultural experiences of their lives outside of the classroom, then that’s a pretty good tradeoff, as expressed by Braun.
“One year we went down to Chile, and VSSA and the ski club decided to send a sort-of academic parent,” Braun said of Pomeroy. “He orchestrated on one of our days off to go surfing for the day down by the coast; he ended up befriending some locals who had gone back to the villages and rounded up a bunch of surf boards and wet suits for us. He was going out of his way to make sure we had a culturally unique day off; we got to meet all these locals and they ended up cooking us homemade empanadas on the beach in a shack they had built in the middle of nowhere. I’ve spent a lot of time abroad and to this day that’s one of the more enriching experiences I’ve had. That was just who Bindu was, he could connect with anyone.”
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