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Crested Butte Pajama Night Benefits Matthew Shepard Foundation

Tuesday Mar 8, 2011
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CRESTED BUTTE, CO - In tandem with the inaugural Matthew Shepard Foundation Gay Ski Week, March 19 - 26, the Downtown Crested Butte Lodging Association is hosting a Pajama Day/Night on March 22 to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation and homeless children charities.

Participating downtown retailers and restaurants will donate 5 percent or more of their profits to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and bins will be available at many locations to drop off new children’s pajamas and stuffed animals. The items will be donated to Lifeworks in Austin, Texas, and Denver Children’s Home in Denver, Colo. There is a special need for donations suiting children ages 1 - 4 and 11 - 18. Look for merchants wearing pjs and for rainbow flags outside stores.

After a day on the slopes, a PJ Town Takeover and PJ Pub Crawl will get the party started downtown. Participating bars will give a raffle ticket for drinks purchased at their location (limit one per person). All raffle tickets will be collected at Maxwells at the PJ Dinner and Party. Rumors Coffee and Tea House will host PJ Speed Dating at 5 p.m. The cost to participate is $10 or it’s free when purchasing a ticket to the Maxwells event. Funds raised at Rumors go to the foundation.

A PJ Dinner and Party at Maxwells will continue the festivities. A gourmet three-course dinner including salad, entrée and dessert will be served from 7 - 9 p.m., followed by a PJ dance party, silent auction and raffle starting at 8:30 p.m. Local realtors are getting in on the fun by decorating the tables, and free chair massages will be available. The cost is $50 per person, including dinner and the party, or $20 at the door for the party. Bring a pair of new pjs to donate and admission to the party is $10. Funds raised go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

"The Laramie Project," a staged reading, will be presented by Western State College of Colorado and the Matthew Shepard Foundation at Mallardi Cabaret. Laramie was the site of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old, gay University of Wyoming student in 1998. The month following his death, members of the Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews, resulting in a play about the town, its citizens and their reaction to the murder. Tickets cost $10, with proceeds benefiting the foundation.

The Dogwood Cocktail Cabin will be hosting a game night to round out the pj party theme.

Pajamas hung on clotheslines will be outside the pj party places to guide the way. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit www.DowntownCrestedButte.com/gayskiweek.

Laramie was the site of the murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old, gay University of Wyoming student in 1998. The month following his death, members of the Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie and conducted interviews, resulting in a play.

Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options - from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real Western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, a four-year institution offering majors in the liberal arts and sciences and professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the "Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado" by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines with flights from Denver and during the winter season by American Airlines and Continental Airlines.

For a look at the rest of the week’s activities, go to www.matthewshepardgayskiweek.com.

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