On July 27th, with 450 people in the St. Regis Ballroom, Danielle and Max confidently sat on stage. When the music started, the attentive audience was shocked to see the two of them sing “Sunshine on my Shoulders” by John Denver. It was clear the audience was moved and in awe of the talent displayed by the two. While many people attended our Vince Gill and Amy Grant Gala and Golf Classic with a sound understanding of Challenge Aspen’s mission and values, attendees were able witness first hand how magnificent our participants are.
As an intern, the work leading up to the event was tedious and time consuming. There were times when it was difficult to put so much effort into something I have never seen unfold and come together before. After the event commenced, I was already thinking about plans for next year. The two days were a fantastic time and I would love to come back to help with such a great event in the future. I was most amazed by the people that attended and seeing how much they enjoyed participating in the event. Every person I met had a different story and reason why they decided to attend. Someone with a disability or military personnel has influenced us all in a unique way. The Vince Gill and Amy Grant Gala and Golf Classic bring together people from all parts of the world that share a similar goal: to help provide possibilities for people with disabilities.
I have learned a lot this summer from dedicating my efforts to this event and working with the Challenge Aspen staff. Through all my experiences and interactions in Colorado, one thing remains constant; my time spent with our participants has influenced my life the most. Danielle was Challenge Aspen’s first participant ever and she was the first one I ever met. Any day of the week she may come into the office or say hello to me around town. Her energy, positive attitude, genuine care for others, and smile fills me with joy. There will always be a special place in my heart for Challenge Aspen and I will forever cherish the memories and relationships I have made this summer.
Written by, Christian Curatolo, Intern