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The benefits of philanthropy

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Laura and David Bexfield — he’s a multiple sclerosis sufferer who participates in the adaptive ski program — attended the Adaptive Ski “Snowball.”

Laura and David Bexfield — he’s a multiple sclerosis sufferer who participates in the adaptive ski program — attended the Adaptive Ski “Snowball.”

Adaptive Ski Program

Stuart and Fiddle Gatsby enjoyed the “Snowball.”

Stuart and Fiddle Gatsby enjoyed the “Snowball.”

Maybe you remember a terrible car crash in La Tierra back about 15 years ago that left then 16-year-old Xavier Horan barely alive and, today, paralyzed from the chest down, a paraplegic. He lives in a mechanized chair, but that hasn’t crushed his indomitable spirit. Formerly a hotshot young skier, now Xavier and dozens like him get out of that wheelchair and enjoy the thrill of the mountain through the herculean efforts of ace skiers who take disabled people down runs at the ski basin. For the blessings.

It’s a volunteer job, often filled by professional ski instructors on the side. And if you think normal ski equipment is pricey, imagine the specialized gear required for this program!

About 220 supporters attended Saturday night’s Great Gatsby “Snowball” at the Hilton benefiting the Adaptive Ski Program, which serves both the Santa Fe and Sandia Peak ski areas, and which brought in $25,000 for equipment and program costs. To contribute or learn more, go to adaptiveski.org.

Opera stars Yvette de la O and Paula Hunter were working hard at the Business Council dinner.

Opera stars Yvette de la O and Paula Hunter were working hard at the Business Council dinner.

The Santa Fe Opera Business Council

If you’re a business and you want to get a lot of bang for your philanthropic buck, and a lot of attention for your business (while really helping out your organization), you should have been at the Santa Fe Opera Business Council’s membership party last week.

Some 150 Business Council members, board members and Opera associates courted prospective new members at a lavish and delicious cocktail buffet at La Posada as they learned of the many benefits of membership, from two very good tickets and a black tie dinner at the Opera on Opening Night (“Carmen” this year!) to inclusion in the season’s program, a tour, a dress rehearsal with dinner and pre-performance explanatory lecture, member parties and lots of other goodies.

Too good to pass up … and a number of businesses decided to take the plunge and sign up at the event. It’s not too late for you to join, too. Contact Phunter@santafeopera.org.

Ellen and Robert Vladem of the Opera board enjoy the membership party.

Ellen and Robert Vladem of the Opera board enjoy the membership party.

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