Kids need help getting to Special Olympics

This year, make your Christmas party really special by helping a young skier make it to the Colorado Special Olympics.

The ninth annual Wine Among the Vines, a fundraiser for Colorado Discover Ability, will be 7–10 p.m. Nov. 5 at The Chateau at Two Rivers Winery.

The event not only promises to be great fun, with fine wines, great food and good company, but also the opportunity to make sure a local ski racer participates in a once-a-year event.

“We do only three fundraisers each year so this a major event for us,” said Donna Iovanni, events manager for Colorado Discover Ability, the adaptive sports program that since 1980 has offered year-round outdoor activities for disabled athletes. Activities range from whitewater river trips to downhill and cross-country skiing.

Iovanni said the evening features a regular silent auction of donated items as well as a reverse silent auction to help raise tuition for racers participating in the Special Olympics at Copper Mountain.

Because of a funding cutback from Special Olympics Colorado, it’s now inherent on local groups to raise the funds to send skiers to the state race, Iovanni said.

A reverse silent auction means you start the bidding. At end of the evening, every person who “bid” gets a call from Colorado Discover Ability.

“It’s sort of like a pledge,” said Iovanni, who started volunteering for Colorado Discover Ability after moving to Grand Junction with her husband, Felix, in 2005. “We put a piece of paper on the table and people put down a pledge and they set the bid.

“At the end we contact everyone to fulfill their pledge.”

The number of racers Colorado Discover Ability can sponsor depends on how much is raised during the evening, Iovanni said.

In addition to bidding on such items as sports equipment, artwork, jewelry and trips, the evening includes hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Wayne Smith and the Culinary Arts School at Mesa State College as well as the award-winning wines from Two Rivers Winery.

“I’ve found some people are using the event as a pre-Christmas party because they get so busy once the holiday season gets here,” Iovanni said. “What could be better than helping send a racer to the Special Olympics and also picking up a few Christmas gifts?”

Tickets to Wine Among the Vines are $40 per person and are available at coloradodiscover or by calling 257-1222.

Colorado Discover Ability is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.


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