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A Toast to All Climbers

Posted on: March 3rd, 2011 by Erik Lambert

Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House during the keynote presentation, "On Commitment". Photo Courtesy John Scurlock.

—AAC Adopts New Plan & Raises over $200,000 at Annual Dinner—

The American Alpine Club raises a glass of champagne to you in thanks and celebration!

We’d like to clink bubbly flutes with you this week for a number of reasons:

First, as of Friday, February 25, the AAC is officially embarking on a new five-year plan. In essence, the Club is restructuring to become more active in your backyard, and to provide you with improved benefits, information resources, and opportunities to engage in your community. It is one of the greatest milestones in our 109-year history, and we couldn’t have done it without climbers like you: over the past five years, members and non-members filled out thousands of questionnaires and shared their stories to help us craft a plan that puts our members first. Stay tuned to Inclined and Facebook for more details on where the AAC is going—and how you can get involved.

Jim Donini and Colin Haley. Photo Courtesy John Scurlock.

Second, the 2011 AAC Annual Benefit Dinner on February 26 reverberated with energy thanks to a great gathering at Bell Harbor in Seattle. Well over 400 buzzed about for a sold-out evening that included waterfront dining, the annual AAC awards ceremony, and a spellbinding conversation on commitment between Dr. Tom Hornbein and Steve House. For those who were unable to join, the conversation will be available for online viewing in the coming weeks.

Third, we gratefully clink because Saturday was the Club’s most successful annual dinner fundraiser in AAC history. While the pork, cod, and ravioli appeared on plates across Bell Harbor, AAC President Steve Swenson introduced details of the newly ratified strategic plan. And as chocolate ganache torte disappeared, climbers from every corner of the pier echoed support of the Club’s new direction by pledging more than $200,000—more than ever before—toward AAC programs. Thank you, Seattle!

Royal Robbins, winner of this year's AAC Literary Award. Photo Courtesy John Scurlock.

Fourth, we’re thrilled that more than 150 climbers came together on Friday for our Climbers’ Party, co-hosted with The Mountaineers. Local young-guns like Colin Haley and Dylan Johnson helped to knock off two kegs and ungodly amounts of BBQ, then danced it all off to Billy Idol thanks to our fanatical cover band, 80s Invasion. Even some of the most seasoned climbers of all time, Fred Beckey and Tom Hornbein included, stopped by for a beer.

So cheers! I hope you drink deep, intoxicated by the recent new direction and support of our AAC.

—Erik Lambert, AAC Information & Marketing Director

Check out more photos on our Flickr page.


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