“As a social worker with
Banner Hospice, I wanted to attend the workshop to hone my
skills as a counselor and a resource to those facing the end
of life as well as their loved ones and caretakers. What an
extraordinary gift the Awakening is to me! All I had to do
was plant the seed of possibility, and it sprouted into
fruition in a way so powerful that I continue to sense my
connectedness to this part in spite of the continual stream
of little pebbles in the shoe that daily life brings. After
all the workshops, seminars, courses, reading,
psychotherapy, and self-study in which I have engaged, this
weekend stands as the most powerful for good. I marvel that
the creators of the workshop covered it from so many
angles—if I didn’t awaken in the manner I did, they had lots
of other opportunities for me to rouse my Rip Van Winkle. My
heartfelt thanks to Karmen and her staff for their
commitment to bringing this experience to others and their
mastery in doing so.”
~Kate Lucas, MSW,
Banner Health Arizona
“Awakening holds up a
mirror to reflect one’s core beliefs about life and death.
The exercises promote deep searching, soul searching, as
well as an important heart connection to others. For me,
some beliefs were reinforced, others turned over and
examined, some discarded. I was never pushed, just nudged in
the direction of choosing what is the best for me. All of
this enveloped in a loving and supportive way by Karmen and
the staff. It was one of the most important weekends in my
~ Barbara Joy, Ph.D.
Arizona Director of Bereavement Services
“I was going through the
motions of life but I was not living. Today I love myself
and believe that life has so much for me. It was easier to
run and stuff my feelings and use drugs to cover up all my
feelings. It’s not easy to deal with feelings. It hurts but
that hurt heals the pain. Shame, all of it goes away and
it’s replaced with joy, peace, and love. You showed me that
I am a very loving special lady that deserves all life has
to give. Life is what I make of it today.”
Arizona Department of Corrections
WHAT BENEFICIARY CHARITIES
HAVE SAID ABOUT THE CONCERTS:
From the Windstar Newsletter, February 2007
Dopslaff, Director of Expect a Miracle Now Foundation and supporter of the
Windstar mission since it’s earliest years, met with the Windstar Board in
August. As she was updated on our current projects and future plans,
her enthusiasm for our continuing work was ignited! She proposed the idea
of a fundraiser and “Starlight In Aspen” was born. Both The Windstar
Foundation and Challenge Aspen would come to benefit from the proceeds
from this event, being two organizations very close to Karmen’s heart.
event co-producer Chris Nole soon assembled the incredible band of Chris,
Pete Huttlinger, John Sommers, Mack Bailey, drummer Brian McCrae, bass
player Matt McKenzie and vocalists Brittany Allen, Mollie Weaver and Ellen
Stapenhorst. The stage at the Inn at Aspen was to be overflowing
with talent! The event planning committee became busy with menus, seating
charts, gift/auction gathering, program design, advertising versions and
It was a full
four months of work but in the end the classic saying applies…. “a great
time was had by all!” In every regards that was true! Guests celebrated
the new year with great music, food, a live and silent auction and dancing
till 3 a.m.!
as it was celebrating with over 100 guests, the exceptional part for the
Foundation was the generous donation given to Windstar following the
event. Karmen enthusiastically handed Windstar a check for $10,000 to help
fund our programs, old and new.
was co-sponsored by Expect A Miracle Now Foundation:
Christine Benedetti - Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Tue 10/17/2006 10:01AM MST
Exactly nine years ago, John Denver's friends gathered around a
Snowmass campfire in post-memorial revelry to celebrate the legendary
American singer's life, after he died in a plane accident just days
before. Of course there was some singing (John Denver songs),
reminiscing and even Jack Daniels made an appearance.
At that point, the group - comprised of local friends, former band
members and family - came up with the idea to remember the folksinger in
an annual event, thus John Denver Week was born. "Aspen is clearly where
John Denver lived, and wrote his music, has his friendship circles and
it's where it all started," says Larry Kushner, the executive director
of the M.U.S.E. Foundation, the founding organization. "Now we use his
music to perpetuate his good works."
The week is highlighted by back-to-back concerts, on Friday, Oct. 13 and
Saturday, Oct. 14, featuring several of Denver's former band mates and
headliner Kathy Mattea, a Grammy and Country Music award winner. Beyond
the tributes though, is the heart and spirit of the event: thousands of
dollars given back to local charity Challenge Aspen.
"John is such a figure, almost a founding figure in Aspen throughout the
community, and people all over the world learned about Aspen through
John," says Houston Cowan, Challenge Aspen's CEO. "And, it's great for a
nonprofit organization to benefit even after he's gone for so many
And benefit they have, with more than $1.5 million through the years.
"That's a huge amount," says Cowan. "It's something that he would have
been a part of, and he's still able to change people's lives without
The money goes toward financing camps and bringing more than 400
disabled individuals and their families to the Roaring Fork Valley for a
ski week, an experience they might have not otherwise been able to have,
says Cowan. "We're truly about bringing people with disabilities to a
place that John has always written and sung about, and that's the
outdoors in the Rockies," he says.
Besides headliner Mattea, this weekend's concert showcases many of the
regular returnees who perform in memoriam annually. Among these is local
John Sommers, author of "Thank God I'm A Country Boy."
"It's just a wonderful opportunity to carry on John's music," says
Sommers. "It's basically a chance for his fans to come together, from
all over the world... and relive the past of John."
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend, with some globetrotting
from Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan.
"John affected so many lives in so many ways - he did mine," he says.
Sommers played in John Denver's band for four years, but now plays for
Heart of the Rockies. He says getting all the old members together is
"really a special time" for them. Accompanying Sommers is Bill Danoff of
"Take Me Home Country Roads," Mollie Weaver, former guitarist Pete
Huttlinger, Jim Salestrom and Chris Nole.
Besides the concerts, there are a number of other, more intimate events
planned for John Denver fans, such as a memorial service and hike to the
John Denver shrine on Aspen Mountain.
This way, fans and former friends can have time to reflect on Denver's
life, in his Rocky Mountain place. "We are paying respect to the memory
he left," says Sommers. "But, his music is living on."