MOUNTAIN FILM'S JULY EVENT FRIDAY, 7/6/12

Reception 6:30 p.m. Films & guest presentations 7:30 p.m. Also breakfast talks, one Friday morning at Hotel Madeline.

Mountainfilm in Telluride: the 34th annual event may have ended with the close of Memorial Weekend, but the beat goes on. Its mission – “To educate and inspire audiences about issues that matter” – has no clock on it. The challenge is ongoing. “Celebrating Indomitable Spirits,” Mountainfilm’s motto, continues with a fundraiser on Friday, July 6, at the historic Sheridan Opera House.

The event features two award-winning films from the 34th annual festival, plus special guests.

The first film is “The Freedom Chair, ” with special guest Josh Dueck. From Mountainfilm’s program:

Josh Dueck was a passionate free-skier who found himself coaching world-class athletes, such as TJ Schiller and Justin Dorey, at a young age. But one day, he misjudged his speed as he approached a jump, and what could have been a harmless mistake, brought inextricable, life-altering consequences. When he crashed, his spinal cord was severed, leaving him paralyzed. Instead of giving up on skiing, however, Dueck refocused his passion into sit-skiing, and the experience allowed him to jump-start a new career and find a new way to do what he loves the best: ski. “The Freedom Chair” traces the path from Dueck’s injury to his return to the hill, where he wins silver and gold at the Olympics and X Games and still gets out with friends to charge big terrain — all thanks to his freedom chair.

The second film is “Right to Play,” with special guests, director Frank Marshall and Olympic Gold Medalist, U.S.  Speed Skating, Dan Jansen. From Mountainfilm’s program:

Were his Olympic speed-skating gold medals in 1994 his only legacy, Norwegian Johann Olav Koss might have just become another athlete living off dusty accomplishments. Instead, Koss used the same singular determination and focus that took him to the top of his sport to make a difference in the lives of some of the planet’s most vulnerable and victimized children. Recognizing that sport has mobilizing power, and seeing opportunity where others might have seen only obstacles, Koss gave up a career in medicine for the challenges of international aid and development and created a global organization called Right to Play. This feel-good documentary of the same name directed by part-time Tellurider Frank Marshall (one of the most accomplished producers in Hollywood) captures Koss’s guiding principle that all children have the right to play, and his legacy now, far from obscure, extends to some 700,000 children in 23 countries.

A snapshot of the event’s once-in-a-lifetime experiences and one-of-a-kind items available at the auction are as follows:

Fishing and Gourmet Picnic with Jeff Price • Minimum Bid $500 (Retail Value – Priceless!)

A day on the river guided by Telluride Angler along with noted local outdoorsman and prevaricator Jeff Price. You will be stalking the famed 24-inch Brown Trout, “Chopper,” said to be responsible for having bitten off the big toe of Art Goodtimes. According to legend, this happened while the famous poet and County Commissioner playfully dangled his foot in the river during the 2006 Mushroom Festival. Jeff Price will also be serving up a special lunch as well as some of the best bullshit heard in San Miguel County. (Bidding will start at $500 for this once in a lifetime opportunity, available during the months of July and August, 2012)

Washington Insider • Minimum Bid $1,000 (Retail Value – Exhorbitant!)

Has your cocktail conversation become calcified and stale? Do you sometimes find yourself plagiarizing Rachel Maddow at dinner parties…Sean Hannity at the golf club? Make your way to the Washington insider’s Cosmos Club (founded in 1878 by John Wesley Powell) in Washington D.C.,  your home for two action packed days and nights. Begin your stay with lunch with the highly regarded PBS commentator, the voice of Friday Night, Mark Shields. Once he has confirmed your identity, he will then signal top Democratic pollster, Peter Hart, to join you. Next: two tickets to Woolly Mammoth, Washington’s outstanding home grown theatre – performing new challenging plays. The next morning you will proceed to DCG, a popular New York-style deli in DuPont Circle where you will be joined by former Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt. There, over breakfast, you will be debriefed on a wide range of issues including the environment, climate change and public lands. That’s right. This auction item is for two people. That’s why bidding should start at $1000. (Travel not included. Date to be mutually agreed upon, not available in August.)

Christie Brinkley Will Probably Not Be Here • Minimum Bid $1,200 (Retail Value $2,400)

A heli skiing package for two adults with Telluride Helitrax. The best way to ski Telluride if you don’t mind taking the lift in a helicopter. This offer includes one night at the Peaks Hotel, which includes the spa, water slide for the kids, climbing walls, coffee and helicopter! (Travel and ski equipment not included)

Coffee talks on Friday, July 6  (Josh Dueck, 8:30, Hotel Madeline) and Saturday, July 7 ( Dan Jansen, 9 a.m., Program Room, Wilkinson Public Library.)

Tickets, $75  for adults and $25 children 12 and under  available online or at the door.

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