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Sixth Annual Light It Up Blue Aspen Gala Moves to Belly Up Over President’s Weekend
Day and Night Festivities Feature Vertical Blue, Black Pistol Fire, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Dr. Jennifer Berman and Autism Activist Areva Martin
ASPEN, Colo…January 5, 2016 — The 6th Annual Light It Up Blue Aspen benefit event – the signature funder raiser for the local autism camp, Ascendigo – will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, at the Belly Up Aspen.
The weekend of activities will kick off with a cocktail reception hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cheryl Hines, where Kennedy will speak and show a sneak peek screening of the film, Trace Amounts at an exclusive VIP reception at a private Aspen home for sponsors and VIP ticket holders.
On Saturday, during the day is Vertical Blue, Autism Awareness Day at Aspen Highlands featuring a full day of festivities including an on-mountain scavenger hunt, après ski party with DJ entertainment, prize drawings for skis and great prizes with Light It Up Blue Aspen pro athletes and celebrities.
Later that evening, Light It Up Blue Aspen turns to the Belly Up Aspen for a lively reception-style evening of fundraising, cocktails and chef dinner station, a concert with Black Pistol Fire, VIP gift bags and more. Guests will be able to bid on fabulous one-of a kind live auction experiences, a raffle and online silent auction.
The evening will kick off with an intimate VIP reception offering sponsors and VIP guests a chance to mingle with athlete and celebrity guests including TV talk show host and autism rights advocate Areva Martin, autism activist and filmmaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr., actress Cheryl Hines, journalist Kathleen Kennedy, Dr. Jennifer Berman of CBS’s “The Doctors,” and world-class ski mountaineer Chris Davenport.
Light It Up Blue will feature a live show by Aspen favorite Black Pistol Fire, a high-octane rock duo based out of Austin, Texas, by way of Toronto, Canada; composed of Kevin McKeown on guitar/lead vocals and Eric Owen on drums. Drawing inspiration from blues, R&B and rock greats such as Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Buddy Holly and Muddy Waters, BPF’s gritty and dynamic performances are fueled by undeniable musicianship. Dubbed the “next big thing” by Huffington Post after SXSW 2013, BPF has developed a reputation for their untamed live performances. After Lollapalooza 2015, Yahoo Music described Black Pistol Fire as “a power duo that can almost match the power and intensity of the massive rock sounds of the likes of Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac… in a breakout set.”
The mission of Light It Up Blue Aspen is to raise both awareness and much-needed funds to assist families and children on the autism spectrum in the Roaring Fork Valley and western Colorado communities. All proceeds from Light It Up Blue Aspen directly benefit these programs through its beneficiary, Ascendigo. Presenting sponsors for this year’s event include: Sentient Jet, Coldwell Banker/Mason Morse, and the Olitsky Family Foundation. Additional generous sponsors include Woody Creek Distillers, Aspen Magazine, Aspen Times, Exclusive Resorts, Brice Janney, Larry Butler, Olsen Studios, Hashtagzero, The Bell Family, Children’s Hospital, JFK Partners, Arta Tequila, Anheuser Busch and more. VIP tickets are $500 per person; Power Blue general admission is $250 including hosted bar, desserts and snacks ; and a limited amount of concert-only tickets are $75 and available at lightitupblueaspen.org or bellyupaspen.com. VIP tables and tickets are available by calling Acendigo at 970-927-3143.
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 68 children; one in 54 boys in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
Ascendigo serves local, regional and national populations of youth and adults across the autism spectrum through experiential, community-based learning opportunities to enhance their health, abilities, personal growth and social engagement. Since 2004, Ascendigo has tirelessly worked to create innovative services specifically designed to meet the urgent needs of the autism community. These services include summer residential and day camps, winter ski programs, after-school and weekend activities, and adult employment options. www.ascendigo.org