GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Carolyn and Stan Kleban went against the more typical migratory flow for retirees 10 years ago when they moved from Arizona and settled in Carbondale.
“When we first moved up here, we didn’t really know what all there was to do,” said Stan Kleban, who, along with Carolyn, was attracted by the year-round activities that change with the seasons.
What they needed, though, was a group of people with similar interests to do all the fun things they wanted to do in retirement, from hiking in the summer to skiing in the winter to just getting together for a social gathering every now and then.
“The 100 Club has been a lifesaver, and was just what we were looking for,” Stan Kleban said during a tribute Wednesday at Sunlight Mountain Resort in honor of the club’s late founders, Tom and Olly Sherman.
The story was much the same for Emil Cima of Glenwood Springs, who organized the tribute, including the dedication of a special plaque honoring the Shermans “For their love of skiing and their dedication to the Sunlight Ski Area.”
The plaque now hangs over the deck at the Sunlight Mountain base lodge.
“When I came to town I didn’t know anybody,” said Cima, who moved to the area in 2002 and, like the Klebans, was looking for a group of like-aged people to hang with.
He was put in touch with longtime 100 Club member Hal Sundin, who invited Cima to the club’s fall dinner that year.
“It was like family, everyone was just so welcoming,” Cima said.
That’s exactly what the Shermans had in mind when they started the 100 Club at Sunlight during the 1989-90 ski season.
The idea was for couples whose combined ages added up to more than 100, or singles of retirement age, to get together for a ski day once a week.
A few years later the club had grown from that initial group of about 30 people to more than 300 club members, and membership came with a range of social activities.
In addition to the winter ski outings, weekly summer hikes were added to the mix along with the occasional get-away to the Utah desert and other regional locales, regular potluck dinners and game nights.
During the plaque dedication, Sundin described Tom Sherman, who died in 1999, as “an inspiration to all,” and Olly, who died just this past spring, as “one of the most vibrant women I’ve ever met.”
“She used to always say we were not allowed to ride up the ski lift with anyone twice until we had ridden with everyone else in the club,” Sundin said of Olly Sherman.
Ed Burkland, a charter member of the club, remembered many a tennis match with the Shermans during the club’s early days. But the Wednesday ski outings at Sunlight were always special, he said.
“Sunlight has everything I need in a ski area, and it’s great for a club like this,” Burkland said. “If we ever get separated, we always know we can meet right back up at the bottom.”
When the Shermans moved to Glenwood Springs from Vermont in 1989, they too were looking for some people their age to ski with, so they put out the word that they were forming the club.
“We’ve made so many friends in the last year, we’re now in the precarious position of having to remember some 300 names,” Tom Sherman commented in a July 1991 interview with the Glenwood Post.
“These people are enthusiastic,” he said of the 100 Club members. “None of them are sitting back and letting old age take over.”
Olly Sherman observed during that same interview that the club had become a welcoming committee of sorts for visitors and newcomers to the Glenwood Springs area, particularly new retirees.
“We do serve as ambassadors for Glenwood Springs in a way,” she said. “We make people feel welcome so they want to come back.”
The Shermans were also honored during the club’s December 1995 Christmas banquet, during which club member Jitter Nolen was quoted in the Glenwood Post as saying, “I believe the spirit and attitude of the 100 Club is part of what makes Glenwood Springs such a special place.”
In addition to the new plaque at the base of Sunlight, one of the ski runs, “Sherman’s Forest,” was also named after Tom Sherman following his death.