Recap: Black Tie & Tennis Shoes Gala

Recap: Black Tie & Tennis Shoes Gala

October 22, 2014–

The dresses and tuxes are back in our closets, the tennis shoes have returned to their regular programming, and we are filled with gratitude. This year’s Black Tie & Tennis Shoes gala was nothing short of amazing. We heard from James Edward Mills, journalist and author of The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors (get a copy, seriously). James told us more about his journey with the first African American team to climb Denali, and tied it back to the larger subject of inclusion and accessibility among minority populations as it relates to the outdoors.marty

Marty Concepcion, a senior at Eagle Rock and one of our scholarship students, showed great courage in taking the podium to tell us about his journey with COBS, and his accomplishments since. He, like so many of our students (and staff), is a true reflection of the courage to explore — the theme of this years event, and of this video:



silent auction-2

Guests walked away from our silent auction with great gear from our partners, as well as gym memberships, vacation getaways, invitational trips and more. We’ll be able to purchase a lot of new equipment from our Wishing Wall, and look forward to outfitting our students with new backpacks, sleeping bags, technical equipment and more.


Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and guests, we raised more than $112,000!

And our staff got an amazing surprise, too: COBS board members Dirk Tyler and Bill Stanfill, along with OB alum Kishen Mangat and the O’Neil family, each pledged $2,500 (so a total of $10,000!) to seed our staff development fund! This will allow us to continue to invest in our team, so that more students like Marty can experience challenge and discovery under the mentorship of the best instructors in the industry.

Joanne Davidson from the Denver Post put together a great piece on our event, and we look forward to continuing the conversation we started with James, both with him and our ever-expanding community.

Now we’re off to meet with our board and leadership team to discuss goals and strategic plans for 2015 and beyond. Thanks to all of the energy and contributions from our supporters, we’re taking so much gratitude and excitement with us, and can’t wait to show you what we’re up to next!

Until next time,

The COBS Team