Hosted by well-known contemporary western artist Carrie Fell, the second annual Cowboy Ball was a great evening of delicious cuisine, entertainment by Nashville country singer Dillon Dixon and Seven Falls Indian Dancers, and an art auction of Carrie Fell's contemporary Western art. This year's Cowboy Ball was thrown to benefit Roundup River Ranch, a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Between 5 and 7 p.m., the guests were treated with a cocktail reception & tasting stations. Five chefs from Colorado's top restaurants served up their signature dishes. Four of the five participating chefs were from Vail, including Richard Bailey from Manor Vail Lodge, Matt Petrie from Lord Gore Manor Vail Lodge, Mark Millwood from 7 One 5 and Paul Ferzacca from La Tour. The 5th Master Chef was Keith Stich from Shanahan's Denver.
Each chef created a signature dish, served from tasting stations at the event as follows:
- Mark Jason Millwood: 7 One 5, Vail Marriott: Colorado lamb and goat cheese ravioli, butternut squash puree, autumn chutney, beet molasses.
- Keith Stich: Shanahan's Denver: Ponzu marinated Wagyu ribeye, Asian coleslaw with peanut dressing.
- Paul Ferzacca: La Tour Restaurant, Vail: Liberty Farms duck confit, local Chantrelle mushroom, Olathe sweet corn fondue.
- Matt Petrie: Lord Gore, Manor Vail Lodge: smoked Wagyu short rib, sweet potato swirl, red-eye collard greens, whisky molasses glaze.
- Richard A. Bailey, C.E.C, Executive Chef, Manor Vail Lodge: white & dark chocolate fondue fountains with fresh pineapple, strawberries, banana, cookies, rice crispies treats, pretzel bolts.
At 7 p.m., the guests were treated with a colorful performance by Seven Falls Indian Dancers. In full costume, the dance troupe represented four generations of dancers. They are members of Pawnee, Flandreau, Cheyenne River Sioux, and Crow Creek Sioux tribes. The origin of the dance is explained with a story. Additionally, the silent auction items opened for bidding at this time.
At 7:30 p.m., there was a live auction featuring a special unveiling of Carrie Fell's latest artwork, designed specifically for this event. One of the surprise items auctioned off during the live auction included a private dinner for 10 at the recipient's home. The private dinner includes the five chefs and the musical entertainment by Dillon Dixon.
Following the announcement of the closure of the silent auction at 8:30 p.m., the guests stayed until the wee hours of the evening for fireside cordials, live music from Dillon Dixon, coffee, and confections.
Carrie Fell is an artist of the 21st century New West - just as Remington and Russell portrayed their New West in the 19th century. Her dramatic use of color and line give life and feeling to her faceless subjects, from longhorns to cowgirls. Through her work, Carrie tells the traditional stories of Western art, stories of cowboys and cowgirls and horses and the infinite sky.
As one of the hardest-working artists in the art biz, Fell produces paintings and limited editions collected and exhibited by individuals, companies and institutions throughout North America. Her works are included in numerous gallery and invitational exhibitions annually and she remains active in charitable causes serving them both through her donations and time. In 1996, she established Significance of Self, an educational program that helps young people express themselves in painting and other media.
This year's Cowboy Ball was thrown to benefit Roundup River Ranch, a camp for children with life-threatening illnesses. Although the final numbers are not in yet, from early estimates, over $20,000 was raised this evening.
Roundup River Ranch enriches the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses by providing free, year-round camping experiences with appropriate medical care that are fun, safe and empowering. The camp is a provisional member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, founded in 1988 by Paul Newman and is now the largest family of camps worldwide for children with serious illnesses.
After conducting a needs assessment in 2006, it was determined more than 35,000 children in the Rocky Mountain Region suffer from a serious illness. More than 85 percent do not have the opportunity to attend camp because of their illness. With plans to open in the summer of 2011, Roundup River Ranch will help close the gap and provide life-changing opportunities to thousands of children.
Roundup River Ranch Camp is free to campers and their families. Parents look to the camp as a respectful, safe, medically supported place for their children to have fun away from hospitals. The camp is a positive, loving place where campers, parents, siblings, volunteers and staff all benefit from personal enrichment and life-changing experiences.
For information about Carrie Fell's work, go to www.carriefell.com.
For information about Roundup River Ranch, go to www.RoundupRiverRanch.org