Mar. 17, 2016
The patio of Eagle's Nest in Vail is inundated with pink during the 4th annual Pink Vail celebration on Saturday. Pink Vail is the world's biggest ski day to conquer cancer, raising money for local cancer treatment at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards.

Local Cancer Survivors Reflect on Pink Vail’s Five-Year Anniversary & Their Own Major Milestones

By Traci J. Macnamara

Pink Vail will celebrate its five-year anniversary on April 2, making 2016 a memorable year for those who have been involved in this wildly successful event since its beginnings.

Pink Vail began as a fundraiser to support breast cancer patients at Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards, it now benefits patients being treated at Shaw for all types of cancer. And while the color pink has stuck with the event, Pink Vail provides an opportunity for women and men—brothers, sons, fathers and friends—to join in the celebration of cancer survivorship and to help patients with all types of cancer prevail. Pink Vail has always been an event for everyone—skiers of all abilities and non-skiers alike are welcomed to attend.

Shelly Jarnot, who lives in Edwards and was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43, got involved in the first Pink Vail within a few months after completing chemotherapy and radiation at Shaw. “In that first year, the cause was very close to me, and I got the sense of full support from all who joined my team,” she says. “It was an incredible day for me to ski with my family and other families. Pink Vail brought us all together, and it was amazing for me to see how much people cared.”


Shelly Jarnot skied shortly after completing chemotherapy and radiation at Shaw in 2012.

Shelly Jarnot and Charla Blizzard have attended Pink Vail with family members and friends each year since 2012. Both women had recently completed cancer treatments at Shaw prior to the first Pink Vail, which means their participation in this year’s five-year anniversary event coincides with their personal five-year survivorship milestones.

“I remember when a friend came over to explain what Pink Vail was and why I should participate that first year,” explains Charla Blizzard, a minority owner of the Gypsum-based Mountain Beverage Company. “She mentioned skiing and fundraising, but I didn’t know what it would really be like then—or how big it would become. Now when people ask me what Pink Vail is, I just tell them that it’s awesome—a huge skiing celebration with proceeds going to Shaw.”

Leading up to the day of Pink Vail, individuals and teams work toward a fundraising goal, and many rally around those they would like to honor in the process. On the day of Pink Vail, teams often ski together in costume while checking in at themed decks across the mountain. All-day live music, food, drinks, games and prizes are hosted at Eagle’s Nest, Pink Vail Headquarters for the day, and at the end of the day, guests are invited to join the Celebration Ski Down, where friends, family and those skiing in honor of loved ones descend Pink Vail Trail (Simba Run renamed for the day) in a united fight against cancer.

On April 2, the five-year anniversary of Pink Vail will remain a celebration of life and survivorship, but it will also be a time when anyone who wants to ski for a worthy cause can join Blizzard, Jarnot and many others, united in this hope.

Friends and family skied for Team Charla in 2012.

Join a Pink Vail team now, start your own or make a donation:



Shaw Regional Cancer Center is for anyone seeking comprehensive cancer care in a peaceful and intimate setting. Patients travel to Shaw for their Ivy League doctors, top-of-the-line equipment—including the best technology available for radiation therapy and 3D mammography—and impeccable reputation for breast and prostate cancer treatment. The multidisciplinary approach of their cancer care team benefits each patient’s individualized treatment plan, supporting the patient and family through treatment all the way to survivorship. One of the country’s premiere boutique cancer treatment facilities, Shaw Regional Cancer Center has been recognized and accredited by some of the top cancer organizations in the country, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Foundation®, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR).