Get sun-smart at Sunlight |

Get sun-smart at Sunlight

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted photoBrad Lanpher

SUNLIGHT MOUNTAIN RESORT, Colorado ” Brad Lanpher’s philosophies about skiing and life were very similar ” go big or go home.

“He loved the double-diamond blacks,” said Brad’s father, John Lanpher.

Lanpher was diagnosed with skin cancer, or melanoma, in 2004. Just six months later he succumbed to the disease. He was 35 years old.

To commemorate Brad, his widow, Alexa Lanpher, and his family decided to bring his ashes from his home in Highlands Ranch near Denver to the one place Brad loved to ski, Sunlight.

The first weekend in March has since become a special couple of days for the Lanpher family. And this year is shaping up to be the same.

In Brad’s memory, Sunlight Mountain Resort is holding the first ever Melanoma Awareness Day this Saturday, March 7. Brad’s family will be in attendance. The idea came to them in March 2008 as they made their annual trek to Glenwood’s local mountain.

“Last year when we were up there I said, ‘It’s too bad that we can’t put something together to inform people about the dangers of melanoma,'” John said.

And just one year later, John’s vision is happening.

The Melanoma Research Foundation will be soliciting donations to support medical research for finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma and to help educate patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. People who donate $20 or more will receive a 2009-10 adult lift ticket.

Dr. Kelly Thomas, a dermatologist who works with Glenwood Medical Associates, will be available in the lodge from 9 a.m. to noon, providing free melanoma screenings.

In association with the Melanoma Awareness Day, Sunlight will also host the Brad Lanpher Lap-a-Thon where skiers and snowboarders will make laps up the Primo Lift as many times as possible from noon to 3 p.m. Whoever completes the most laps by having their pass or ticket scanned, will be awarded a trophy and a $100 gift certificate for Sunlight Ski and Bike or anywhere on the mountain for food or tickets.

Local businesses, groups or service clubs may participate in the Lap-a-Thon by pledging any amount to match to the total amount of laps completed. Groups can also compete as a team and pledge an amount based on the laps they complete as a team. All proceeds will go to the Melanoma Research Foundation. Contact Sunlight Marketing Manager Dylan Lewis at 947-5156 for a pledge form.

Registration for the event will be available at the Sundeck at Sunlight the morning of March 7.

John knows this weekend will be special for him and the rest of Brad’s family. But he hopes that it will be meaningful to others as well.

“If we can prevent one person from getting melanoma this weekend, then the weekend will have been a success,” John said.

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