An awesome, free community meal made possible by great volunteers


I am writing to express my gratitude towards our community, and to thank the tremendous volume of volunteers and businesses that supported Aspen TREE’s fifth annual free “Early Bird” Farm to Table Community Meal last Tuesday, Nov. 20. Upwards of 1,000 seated guests were served an elegant and gourmet meal for FREE, with all ingredients being locally grown and organic. I am grateful for our volunteers, coordinators, and silent auction sponsors that made this incredible event possible, now open to all and free for the fifth time.

I would like to thank our seven chefs: Jim Butchart (Aspen Skiing Co.), Sarah Hensley (The Cheese Shop), Kelly Hart (Boden’s Butter), Tenille Folk (Aspen Schools), Sean (Pine Creek Cook House), Francis Stuckins (Venga Venga), and Martin Oswald (Pyramid Bistro) for donating their time and expertise, making each course truly gourmet.

I would also like to thank the nearly 100 local businesses for donating to our silent auction. You all make this event possible. I would like to thank the Aspen Club and Spa for the use of their bouncy house, Conundrum Catering for use of their kitchen as our prep space, chef Jeff and the Aspen High School for use of their space (and their volunteer time), and Aspen Skiing Co. for sending nearly 40 of their full-time staff members to volunteer for the event.

Thanks to Alaina Dobbs, Sarah, Andrew, Shayne and River for coordinating the silent auction at the event, to Baisha Dean for coordinating the servers, to Noga Vardy for coordinating the details, and last but certainly not least to Lissa Ballinger for coordinating the 200-plus volunteers. Thanks also to our local farmers for their dedication to health, not only of people, but to that of the planet.

It truly takes a community to put on this community production, and I feel honored to live in a community that truly steps up. Thank you.

Eden Vardy