The 2014 First Descents Ball
March 29th, 2014
We were blown away by the love and generosity that filled the ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch last weekend! The most successful First Descents Ball to date, we raised nearly $500,000 to support our adventure programs. Whether it was the warm sunshine and mountain air, the “Mountain Mules” filling custom copper mugs, or the inspiring speeches, we couldn’t be more grateful for the overwhelming support that our guests showed the 50+ fighters and survivors in the room that night, the 600+ participants FD will serve this year, and the approximately 150,000 young adults currently fighting cancer in the USA today.
We kicked off the night by quieting the room down and introducing our guests to the people behind the scenes who make FD possible. FD’s new Executive Director Ryan O’Donoghue spent a little while welcoming the crowd and sharing his vision for the future of the organization. We are so excited to see where First Descents is headed with our new leader paving the way for our team.
We were also so thrilled to have “Mama Pearl”, Susan Krapinski, accept the Out Living It award on behalf of her daughter, Danielle “Smoxy” Krapinski who passed away last May. Mama Pearl had us captivated and demonstrated that the power of First Descents goes way beyond a week at camp. Her speech was both moving and inspiring, just as we remember Smoxy to be.
A huge shout-out to Team Hardcore who received the Golden Paddle award. They’ve raised more than $60,000 to support First Descents, and sponsored our first climbing program in New Hampshire on behalf of their friend Kristen “Hardcore” Schraven. If you would like to start your own challenge with Team FD, start here!
We’d also like to send a grateful nod to FD Board Member Joel Appel, this year’s recipient of the Horizon Line Award, for his selflessness and generosity for First Descents. Joel has played an integral part in FD’s success and we wouldn’t be where we are today without his support.
If you weren’t able to grab your FD swag from our store, please check it out online and grab a new hoodie, water bottle, or Golden Bear Baci!
A huge THANK YOU to our Event Sponsors
Genentech, Wacky Warriors, Icon Media Direct + Nancy Lazkani, Millennium, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Moda Man, Chad McWhinney, The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, FirstBank, Amanda Precourt, Marc Slatkoff, Brady Dolsen, Bob Allison, Rob Schuham, Morgen Newman & Kayti Sullivan, Gary Rohr, Linda & Adam Lipsius, Rochelle Shoretz, Matthew Cooney & The Ludden Family
A huge THANK YOU to our Vendors & Special Guests
Bespoke Events, Sidney Frank Importing, Big Sky Brewing, Club W, Spring 44, The Principal’s Office, Rocky Mountain Connections, Batter Cupcakes, Moe’s BBQ, Funkiphino, Soul Poles, Jesse Horton, Samantha “Lilo” Mezzina, & Charlene Lanzel Sand Artist
On behalf of all of the alumni and staff at First Descents, we send our love and thanks for your unwavering support year after year.