$100,000 Raised for Community Health

The team at the Taos Community Foundation with the help of the Taos Ski Valley Foundation and our seven nonprofit event partners, and over 560 individual donors has achieved great success by raising over $100,000 with this weekend’s 20th Annual Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon at Taos Ski Valley. As of this post the event has raised over $102,000 that will be used to impact community health, through the work of seven local nonprofits and the Community Health/Emergency Medicines Fund at Taos Community Foundation, providing grants to even more local nonprofits in the area of health and basic needs.


Photo by Forest Rach

On Friday and Saturday March 18 and 19, fifty-eight fundraisers took to the mountain to meet their challenge and Raise the Ridge for community health. Each person who participated raised at least $200 and many raised over $1,000.00! Our top fundraisers are yet to be determined, as pledged donations are still being collected, but as of today our top fundraisers are Kent Forte with $3,676 raised, Susie Fiore of Field Institute of Taos with $3,178, and Michael Wagener with $3,065 also running the Ridge for Field Institute.

Our top performers on the Ridge this year were Michael Wagener with a solid 50 runs even in spicy conditions. Behind him, Peter Rich with 47 runs, on team Bridges Project, and with 44 runs, Kent Forte with 44. We had a tie for fourth place between Ross Burns and Asha Stout of team Rocky Mountain Youth Corps at 43, and Erik Gustafson of Nederland, Colorado rounded out the top 5.

For the ladies, Bonnie Strange of team Amigos Bravos came in first, with 21 runs cruising a snowboard,  and Lucille McDermott of team Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Gail Kennedy of team Bridges Project, and Marcia Ready for Field Institute finished with a three-way tie for second place with 14 runs completed. In third, another tie between Stacy Smith and Leslie Riegel for team Amigos Bravos – The Otters. In 4th, Eliana Lerman with 6 runs in a single day, and in 5th, veteran pair, Millie Lekas and Jessica Rone, the Savages, with 5 runs completed.

We were short on youth participants this year, but we had two notable young people in the group. Frank Spence, aged 19 from Houston Texas completed 38 runs in his two days of hiking. Jacob Dudley, the other half of the notorious Unicorns, aged 16 years from Taos completed 35 ridges in two days while wearing a fleece unicorn suit, which I am told is not effective technical gear for skiing. Both Unicorns are considering alterations to their gear next year. One of our longest participating 10 year olds, Angie Burns, raised over $800, but an unrelated injury kept her from putting in her runs this year.

Our Booktaos.com Taos vacation raffle went to a veteran participant, John Meyer of Taos. We gave away our six big Kahuna prizes to Extreme and RIdge-Raiser participants, and 8 $50 grants to volunteers and My Kinda Ridge participants.

Ridge Extreme and Ridge Raiser Category Lap Totals

50 Michael Wagener
47 Peter Rich
44 Kent Forte
43 Asha Stout
43 Ross Burns
42 Erik Gustafson
38 Frank Spence
35 Jacob Dudley
32 Mike Engelhardt
32 Ryan DeBue
21 Bonnie Strange
18 Griffin Ferrante
16 Jeff Mugleston
15 Matthew Gorman
14 Lucille Mcdermott
14 Marcia Ready
14 Gail Kennedy
12 Jonathan Kushner
12 Patrick Helton
11 Karlis Viceps
10 Bruce Katlin
10 Stacy Smith
10 Leslie Riegel
9 Carl Colonius
8 Ken Gallard
6 Eliana Lerman
5 Christopher Smith
5 Jessica Rone
5 Millie Lekas
4 Cheryl Hedden
4 Moira O’Hanlon
4 John Meyer
3 Susie Fiore
3 Diane Smith
2 Jim Asperger
2 Matthew Van Buren
1 Rhonda Vernon
1 Robyn Vernon
1 Ursula Berkowitz

Nonprofit Teams

Amigos Bravos
Leslie Riegel
Bonnie Strange
Moira O’hanlon
Joseph Zupan
Rachel Conn
Bridges Project for Education
Jeff Mugleston
Karina Armijo
Gail Kennedy
Peter Rich
Joleen Montoya
Field Institute of Taos
Susie Fiore
Michael Wagener
Matthew Gorman
Mike Engelhardt
Marcia Ready
Habitat for Humanity of Taos
Drew Dickey
Rhonda Vernon
Robyn Vernon
Jay Moore
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Taos
Lucille Mcdermott
Ben Thomas
Patrick Helton
Griffin Ferrante
Dylan Carolus
Taos Land Trust
Cheryl Hedden
Christopher Smith
Matthew van Buren
Andy Jones
Carl Colonius
Taos Center for the Arts
Alford Johnson
Ursula Berkowitz
Kandace Nachtrab
Dianne Frost
Mary Domito

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