Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Galena Benefit Honors a Community Builder, Opportunity Creator
Jenny Busdon, Jim Keating and Bob Rosso check out a tall statue meant for a man of short stature but huge legacy.
Monday, January 27, 2020


A man “of small stature but a huge legacy” was honored.

And valley youth shared their thoughts about Galena Lodge as more than 450 people celebrated Galena Lodge and the North Valley trails Saturday night.

Bob Rosso was honored for 50 years of work on behalf of Galena Lodge, the Nordic trails and more with a trophy that stood nearly as high as he.

Nine-year-old Lucy Stevenson offers a beanie to Linda McClatchy.

Rosso co-founded the Boulder Mountain Tour, which attracts racers from throughout the nation. He   started the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Nordic program in the early 1970s. And he has been a member of the Galena Trail Advisory group since its inception in the 1970s, advising the BCRD on such endeavors as the recent addition of 45 miles of hiking and biking trails around Galena Lodge, the construction of the 22-mile bike path that stretches across the Wood River Valley and the construction of the Harriman Trail.

“Building trails. Building community. Building opportunities for our kids,” said Jim Keating, executive director of BCRD. “He’s a man of small stature but a huge legacy. And that legacy has provided our kids and grandkids the opportunity to enjoy those trails. What a gift!”

Jenny Busdon, who has co-chaired the Galena Benefit with Rosso since its inception, looked across the Limelight Room at Sun Valley Resort and marveled how every seat was taken. Twenty-six years ago, she said, she had to twist people’s arms to attend the first Galena Lodge benefit.

No tax dollars are used for the lodge or the trails that are used for skiing, snowshoeing, biking and hiking, she added.

Dot Mace shows off the paddleboard she bid on.

Then she exhorted, “Let’s keep the doors at the lodge wide open!” as supporters began raising their paddles offering $6,500 for a play day at Colorado Gulch, $13,500 for a stay at a 22-room 300-year-old French chateau in Provence and $13,000 for a VIP Getaway to Napa Valley.

The young Nordic skiers hawking Nordic beanies to attendees weren’t even born when the first Galena Lodge benefit was held 26 years ago.

Wood River High School Senior Eva Grover described how her parents had to bribe her with a warm melting quesadilla at the lodge to entice her to ski when she was a child. She came to love it, though, when it became a place to go with her friends and ski team coaches as they built jumps and played capture the flag.

“It’s had an immense impact on my development and it’s given me a love of skiing,” she said.

Eva Grover and Quinn Closser share a laugh with Nordic Coach Rick Kapala.

Quinn Closser, a junior at Sun Valley Community School, echoed her sentiments.

“Nordic skiing is not the most appealing sport for busy teenagers. But I attended a Fast and Female event at Galena where ski racers like Kikkan Randall taught us to stay healthy, be confident and have fun. I spent the day talking to and skiing with some of the coolest women I’ve ever met. Galena Lodge will always be a second home for me,” she said.

Eloise Pendl-Hebert’s grandfather Fred Pendl came from Austria on the Queen Mary to bake apple strudel at Sun Valley’s Konditorei. Although she grew up in Driggs, her parents brought her to Galena Lodge as an infant, escorting her around the trails in a ski chariot.

Her family moved here two years ago, giving Eloise the chance to could attend Wood River High School and  be on Sun Valley’s Nordic team.

Eloise Pendl-Hebert explains how beanies being offered for $100 contain gift certificates for therapeutic spas and more.

“I love Galena because I see so many people of different skill levels who look like they’re having a blast,” said Pendl-Hebert, whose favorite trail is Cherry Creek. “I’ve been skiing Galena as long as I can remember—probably since I was 2 years old. And I just love it—Nordic skiing is such a fun sport.”

Paddy McIlvoy, who is in the process of taking over Backwoods Mountain Sports, called Galena Lodge the playground of the Wood River Valley.

“It’s a great gathering place,” he said. “Where else can you walk in and see everyone else you know who loves playing outside?! The invitations for this benefit went out three weeks before they were supposed to due to miscommunication with the printer and it sold out immediately. So, that shows the enthusiasm people have for the lodge. And it’s so impressive how the BCRD is able to maintain it and the trails with such a small staff. They probably have ten people, but they do a lot with those ten.”


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