APRIL 7, 2014 BY 

The concept is unique to Steamboat, but well-known elsewhere… guests don’t know where they’re dining until the day of. It leaves the drawing board wide open for ideas, and this year, YVSC took our second annual signature fundraiser to new heights with it.

Teasing diners with the chef and menu a few days prior, they found out on Wednesday they’d be dining with Ben Stroock of the Drunken Onion and saw his carefully crafted, enticing menu on Thursday – full of local food supplied by sponsors Elkstone Farm, Sweetwood Cattle, Marczyks Fine Foods, New Belgium Brewing, Remax Real Estate, and Yampa Valley Farms.

But none of them knew what was truly in store for them as they got their final email on Friday, sending them to the Steamboat Springs Bob Adams Airport…

Bob Maddox’s enormous hangar was decked to the nines.  Every detail carefully arranged, and the room felt magical with theme.

As our 45 guests arrived, our ground grew (in glowing vests and protective earphones) directed them with cones and glow sticks to the hangar.  Rhapsody in Blue (aka “the United song”) tickled their ears with familiarity as they walked in, and they were handed small cups of warmed mixed nuts and a glass of champagne. Flight attendants, dressed in all black with matching bright scarves and airplane wings on their sweaters, took guests coats, and two sharp-dressed pilots welcomed them to mingle.  They took their photos with the Cessna inside, and we toasted to five years of success with YVSC.

After passed appetizers with Yampa Valley Farm’s delicious pork, guests followed the directional airport signage past the big white tents with oval airplane windows (complete with clouds and blinds) to their seats and were handed out steaming white towels to freshen up with as three flight attendants gave their safety speech.  We dined on fresh greens and beets, topped with edible flowers from Elkstone Farm, and the flight attendants cruised past the tables with a beverage cart- red or white Marczyks wine, Fat Tire Ale, and sodas.

The main course of juicy steak or portabello over spinach and barley was followed by homemade tirimisu, accompanied by the trusty beverage cart with coffees and tea. Between meals, guests mingled and chose select sponsorships from our fundraising table, generously funding items like the ReTree crew leader breakfast and volunteer barbecue, Zero Waste volunteer t-shirts, and programs like Sustainable Schools.

All in all, our generous group raised $5000 at this event, and 50 smiling faces left satiated and surprised after a magnificent evening!  AND it was of course, Zero Waste – we had about 5 gallons in trash, 20 gallons in compost, and 30 gallons in recycling!

Topping this truly uniquely themed signature event won’t be easy, but we’re up to the challenge!  If you missed it, we hope to see you next year!