Snowmass Community Rallies Behind pALS’ Adaptive Skiing Adventure

Prior to her ALS diagnosis, Karen Stiles was a giant outdoor enthusiast. “My love for hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, and kayaking is such a part of my life,” she says. Karen can usually be found enjoying the fresh air along with her family.

When Karen wrote to Team Gleason about her Adventure, she knew exactly what she wanted to do. “My Adventure is to go to Aspen in the springtime and learn how to sit-ski,” she wrote on her application. “I would take lessons at the school and learn with my husband. He was a former ski instructor during his college years and would learn with me so that we can continue to enjoy skiing together as this has been such a huge part of our outdoor life,” she continued. “Enjoying a few other activities like a dog sled ride to dinner and a horse drawn carriage ride would be an awesome addition to the experience.”

During the planning process, Team Gleason was also connected with Karen’s sister, Alison. “Karen and I, along with our husbands, have skied in Snowmass for the past 11 years and vowed that we would ski together until we were little old ladies. We never contemplated an ALS diagnosis but we adopted the #NoWhiteFlags mentality and made it happen.” Alison let us know that she had an idea to enhance Karen’s Adventure even more.

Alison, who works with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS), reached out about the possibility of turning Karen’s Adventure into a full-blown event to benefit the ALS Community. “My SGWS team put me in contact with the General Manager of Venga Venga, Alex Young. Alex immediately stepped up, donating the venue and food, promoting the event, and he also put me in touch with Julie Hardman, the Special Event Manager for the city of Snowmass.

Julie immediately committed to helping with the event upon hearing Karen’s story and learning about Team Gleason. She arranged for banners all around the village and a banner hung on the bridge into Snowmass. The Aspen Mountain Residences also helped promote the event amongst its residences throughout the week.” Karen and her husband also received lessons and training from Challenge Aspen, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to “creating possibilities for people with disabilities.”

Venga Venga is perfectly located right off the slopes in Snowmass Village. This cozy venue space provided the perfect observation point for the main event of Karen’s Adventure: sit-skiing down the mountain. As part of the event, Venga Venga donated a portion of the proceeds for each margarita sold that night to Team Gleason, drawing in a big crowd.

“It is so hard to describe how meaningful this event was to our family,” wrote Alison. “Family members and friends flew in from all over the US to support Karen and Team Gleason.” As Karen made her triumphant trek down the mountain, her family, friends, and the Snowmass community gathered at the foot of the slopes, cheering her on. The night ended by enjoying delicious food and margaritas while mingling with the local Snowmass crowd.

“Thank you to everyone at Team Gleason for making my trip to Aspen such an amazing Adventure!” Karen continues, “To be able to learn to sit-ski with my family and friends…there were 26 of us all in our No White Flags ski tops on the Mountain. Having that love and support was beyond anything I have ever experienced. I was sit-skiing all my favorite runs by day two. Thanks to Kami and everyone from Challenge Aspen – the best instructors! My husband says I get this certain smile when I am joyful. I felt pure joy on the mountain! So many people asked about us. I had a cheering support group!”

Karen says that she made countless new friends that night. “So many people showed up and shared their personal stories of ALS,” she wrote. Karen’s sister, Alison, shared the same sentiment. “The love and support provided not just to Karen but her family and those that attended was incredible. During the event, several people approached me because their parents or siblings passed from ALS, or were currently living with it, and they either saw the banners and posters around town or just happened to be at Venga Venga. They were overwhelmed with being at the event and joining in on the fun, along with learning about Team Gleason.”

Altogether, the Mountains & Margaritas Snowmass Event raised over $11,000 benefiting Team Gleason and the ALS community.

Talking with Alison, it was clear that this family truly followed Steve Gleason’s adventurous attitude. “I learned about Team Gleason from a colleague right after Karen was diagnosed, who insisted we must follow Steve Gleason on Instagram. Team Gleason has provided so much support for Karen, from her motorized chair lift, voice banking, and now, this adventure in Aspen. We could only think of giving back in a meaningful way.

We hope Karen will help inspire and support others living with ALS – she is an incredible person, who while facing the hardest challenge in life, does so with grace, laughter and unselfish love for her family. ”When asked how it felt skiing down the mountain on that special night of her Adventure, Karen wrote, “I have to say that learning to sit-ski made me feel like I can still do so many new things!

ALS takes so much away but I plan to replace the 100 things I have lost with 100 new things I have yet to do!

Thank you to Team Gleason for helping me on this journey. Most of all, thank you to my family and friends who made this such a magical trip full of amazing memories. My heart is full. No White Flags!”

Crescent City Classic

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Support Team Gleason’s 2022 Crescent City Classic Team!



Support Team Gleason’s 2022 Caesars Sportsbook Crescent City Classic Team!

Each year, runners/walkers/joggers/rollers like you have signed up to help raise needed funds for Team Gleason. We hope you’ll support our team and help us hold our record of the largest Charity Team for the 7th year in a row!

• Discounted $45 charity registration fee. Charity Racers are required to raise a minimum of $200 by April 16th.
• Special CCC charity bib and t-shirt. Your name is printed on your Charity Bib (Sign up by March 1st).
• Exclusive Team Gleason CCC t-shirt or tank only available to our 2022 Charity team
• Access to VIP air-conditioned bathrooms race morning
• Preferred starting position in “Charity Corral” positioned right behind seeded runners
• Be a part of the Team Gleason group photo on race morning
• Access to Team Gleason’s exclusive post-race party! Includes food, drinks, and massage tables!
• Pre-race party – Ugly Dog Saloon on Sunday, March 20th.  Entertainment by Marc Broussard! 

It’s a way to experience the fun and excitement of the Caesars Sportsbook Crescent City Classic in your own backyard! You pick the course & the time and reach your personal fitness goals.

• Discounted $45 charity registration fee. Charity Racers are required to raise a minimum of $200 by April 16th.
• Special CCC charity bib and t-shirt. Your name printed on your Charity Bib (Sign up by March 1st)
• Exclusive Team Gleason CCC t-shirt or tank only available to our 2022 Charity team.
• Race when you want! Virtual runners can run and record their time through the race app anytime between Thursday, April 14th – Sunday, April 17th.
• Fundraising incentives and prizes!

To ensure t-shirt delivery before race day, please sign up to race by Wednesday, March 23rd 


Fin Feather Fur Food Festival – F5

Fin Feather Fur Food Festival (F5)

Thursday, April 28, 2022
4:00 – 8:00 PM
Blackham Coliseum, Johnson Street, Lafayette, LA

Live Auction – 6 pm

The 1st Annual Fin Feather Fur Food Festival benefitting Team Gleason Foundation is a cooking competition where teams compete for Winner Status in the Fin, Feather, and Fur or Dessert division. Awards will be presented to each team winning their respective division. Judging will be conducted by a panel of Professional Chefs, all from local Lafayette restaurants, and judged strictly by team number and dish by division.

Attendees will vote for their favorite dish to choose the “People’s Choice” winner and a “Team Showmanship” winner will be chosen by a panel of impartial judges.