The 7th Annual Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) Benefit Bash was a huge success! Over 770 people attended the sell out event at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center on November 8th. The benefit bash is one of the largest fundraisers for the CAIC which provides statewide weather and avalanche forecasting. Now in it’s seventh season, the benefit bash is organized by Friends of CAIC, the non-profit 501(c)3 fundraising arm for CAIC. The venue at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center could not be beat with an array of food, drinks, live music , silent auctions and swag throughout the evening.
Aaron Carlson, the Executive Director, Friends of CAIC, and Joe Vandal originally started the benefit bash in 2008. At the time it was a five year plan to raise additional funds needed to support CAIC. The benefit bash, now in it’s 7th season, broke it’s landmark fundraising goal of over $100,000. Tickets sell-out in advance and this year was no exception. In all, 138 sponsors generously supported the benefit bash with both silent auction and swag give-a-way donations. Music was provided by Shakedown Street and beer was provided by New Belgium. Over a thousand backcountry enthusiasts added to the electricity of the evening and made this another event to remember.
This is my fifth year attending the bash, which is typically marked with snowy or even blizzard-like conditions during the event. This year’s Ullr has come to us a little late with people in t-shirts and flip-flops on the afternoon leading up to the event. But winter is at our doorstep, and the benefit bash is a sure way to ring in the season.
The funds raised from the benefit bash go to a very worthy cause supporting the CAIC and it’s forecasters directly. Last year there were 35 avalanche fatalities in the United States, eight of those occurring in Colorado. The CAIC tracks statistics, reporting, and archiving for all avalanche incidents across the U.S. with records going back to 1950, and sparse records back to the 1860s. The CAIC staff investigate fatal avalanches in Colorado. CAIC forecasters post preliminary information within 24 hours. Once an onsite investigation is conducted they publish a final Accident Report. Final reports may take a week or more to compile and publish.
U.S. Avalanche Fatalities 2013-1014 Season