‘Stayin’ Alive’ to benefit Hospice of Mercy

Shanan Campbell Wells, owner of Sorrel Sky Gallery, and Beth Drum, president of the Mercy Health Foundation Board, attended the 2013 Snowdown Prom, a benefit hosted by Sorrel Sky and benefiting the Hospice of Mercy residence project, which the foundation is working to fund. Enlargephoto

Rory Chapman/Special to the Herald

Shanan Campbell Wells, owner of Sorrel Sky Gallery, and Beth Drum, president of the Mercy Health Foundation Board, attended the 2013 Snowdown Prom, a benefit hosted by Sorrel Sky and benefiting the Hospice of Mercy residence project, which the foundation is working to fund.

Prom is so way better as an adult than a high school student. No worries about will he or won’t he call, is any other girl going to be wearing the same dress, what if he draws blood when he’s pinning on the corsage ... I guess I’m showing how high anxiety high school was. Therapist, please.

But at the Snowdown Prom thrown by Sorrel Sky Gallery on Saturday, whether you went the black-tie optional route – and there was plenty of glam – or full out geek, in accordance with this year’s theme, you fit right in.

Hostess Shanan Campbell Wells and her crew chose the glam route, but they fixed up the gallery in a glitzy 1980s prom theme, with plenty of balloons, a disco ball and silver stars hanging above the dance floor in the back.

Toward the front of the gallery, courtesy of Season’s Rotisserie & Grill, bartenders were serving tastings of four different martinis, the “Napoleon Dynamite Aviation” featuring Jackelope Gin; the “Never Been Kissed” dirty martini made with 360 Vodka; a “Weird Science” melon tequila libation featuring Tarantula Tequila; and “Pretty in Pink” cosmopolitans made with 360 Mandarin Vodka. The martinis were served in tiny martini glasses supplied by one of the evening’s sponsors, the Wells Group.

Across the way, Kirk Komick, resplendent in a powder blue tuxedo (remember those?), was pouring champagne for the evening, which he and the Rochester Hotel had donated.

A&L Coors, Cycles Gladiator Wines and Republic National Distributing provided the remainder of the potent potables.

Mercy Catering, working with Sorrel Sky’s Sue Peterson, offered up a menu that included antipasto kebabs, beef Wellingtons, brie en croűte, chicken satays, salmon mousse with shrimp on crostini, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon and lemon, raspberry, caramel-apple and chocolate-coconut dessert bars.

Upstairs, the photo booth was hopping as folks got their pictures taken to commemorate the evening. (To view and purchase photos, visit www.pagosaphotography.com.)

A portion of the photo proceeds will go to the beneficiary of the event, the Hospice of Mercy Experience, the residence that will allow people who are in their final days to have loving, personal care in a place that is serene and beautiful.

The entire evening’s proceeds, $7,100 for the 142 tickets sold, plus two $100 donations and a generous donor who stepped up to cover the expenses at the party mean $7,300 going to the HOME project.

Mercy Health Foundation Development Officer Joy Hess tells me they are $1.25 million toward the goal of $4.3 million to build the 11,100 square foot, 12-bed inpatient hospice. There isn’t a similar facility for 200 miles, and this is more needed than most people realize.

As I write the obituaries, I hear so many stories of having to put loved ones in a nursing home or the hospital because they just couldn’t take care of them at home anymore. A place like this would be a true blessing.

To learn more, give Chief Development Officer Karen Midkiff or Hess a call at 764-2800 or visit www.mhffnd.org.


Asking for a week on the beach for their birthdays are Eli Buck, Lon Erwin, Ricci Dawson, Bob Gramera, Leslie Kirk, Larry Phelps, Taylor Sallee, Evan Bastin, Sandy Brown, Clyde Hassett, Delaine Mize, Paul Myers, Rowdy Pitmin, Jim Micikas, Beverly Tomberlin, Marcia Welker, Wesley Campano, Wayne Frisbie, Bryce Raymond, Jim Robertson, Maggie Gardner, Harald Jordan, Jane Carman, Dave Schank, Mimi Hayduke and Lisa Schuba.


There are parties, and then there are megaparties, and that’s what Nancy Fisher is putting together for From Russia with Love, a dinner and chamber concert at her lovely home to benefit Music in the Mountains. Feb. 16 will be a night to remember for sure.

Music in the Mountains musicians Oleg Sulyga, violin, and Dmitry Kustanovich, viola, are both Russian and are flying in from Texas to perform Bach, Mozart, Halvorsen and Martinu. (I know, no Russian composers, but an evening of beautiful music nonetheless.)

The tasting menu will be fit for a czar, designed and prepared by Fisher, Durangourmet’s Jimmy Nicholson, and a bevy of Russian beauties who call Durango home, including Anna Passalasqua (who also helped design the evening), Svetlana Koshevoy, Katya Licciardi and Irina Hermesman. Word has it Fisher even flew to Denver to find an authentic source for the ingredients.

Oysters in the shell with red caviar, cured salmon with lemon and dill, pirozhki, pâté, cured and smoked meats, borscht (of course) and Russian honey and Napoleon cakes are just some of the goodies on the bill of fare. Jim and Nancy Fisher will be pouring plain and flavored Stolichnaya, wine and cocktails, and I hear party favors are included.

Tickets are $150 per person, with $80 of that tax-deductible, so you can celebrate with someone you love for Valentine’s Day and support a great cause at the same time. Tickets are available by calling Music in the Mountains at 385-6820. The deadline for reservations is Friday.

Valet parking will be provided for all guests, but I’m not sure it shouldn’t be limo service instead with all the potent potables on the menu.

Za vashe zdorovie! Or to your health, as the Russians say it. The phrase “na zdorovie,” one of my few in Russian, isn’t a toast, it’s a way of saying “enjoy your meal,” so maybe that would have worked as a close to this item either way.


It’s blue skies all the way for the anniversary of Ormond and Jeannie Morford.


Here’s how to reach me: neighbors@durangoherald.com; phone 375-4584; mail items to the Herald; or drop them off at the front desk. Please include contact names and phone numbers.

I am happy to consider photos, but they must be high-quality, high-resolution photos (at least 1 MB of memory) and include no more than three to five people. I need to know who’s who, left to right, and who to credit with the photo. Photos should be submitted as .jpg or .tif attachments.