Last winter, I received a late-night text message from Stevens Pass Director of Marketing Chris Rudolph. There was no actual text in the message, just a photo of an acoustic ensemble of musicians. The six-piece band that played that wintry night at Stevens was Seattle's own The Head and The Heart, a favorite of Rudolph's and mine, hence the envy-inducing text. Of course, I thought to myself, why wouldn't Rudolph somehow convince one of the Pacific Northwest's most precocious musical groups to perform at a ski area? He was that savvy and restless and always in pursuit of doing something rad, especially for the benefit of others.
Shortly thereafter, a massive avalanche caught and killed Rudolph on the backside of Stevens in the Tunnel Creek drainage. The vibration of his loss caused confusion and disorder. His charisma and influence—professionally and personally—touched countless people, especially those in the Pacific Northwest. And a good chunk of those lucky recipients were kids and adults affiliated with the Outdoors For All Foundation, a Seattle nonprofit that seeks to enrich the lives of kids and adults living with disabilities by exposing them to outdoor recreation. Keen to assist the local community, Rudolph welcomed them to Stevens several times, and fundraised for Outdoors For All at the Stevens season-end party.
On Friday, February 8, another nonprofit, called Team Up For Nonprofits, is hosting a concert at Seattle's Tractor Tavern to raise money for Outdoors For All, which has created a scholarship in the name of Chris Rudolph. And, of course, Josiah Johnson and Charity Rose Thielen of The Head and The Heart are headlining, with other Seattle favorites, Smokey Brights and River Giant, opening.
"We've worked with Chris's family to establish this endowment and 100 percent of the proceeds are going to the scholarship fund in his name," says Ed Bronsdon, the executive director of Outdoors For All.
Since the show is sold out, Team Up for Nonprofits and Gigs4Good are live-streaming the show with the help of REI. While watching the show for free, viewers can donate to Outdoors For All.
Somewhere out there, Rudolph will be getting rad and dancing around to some of his favorite tunes, celebrating the fact that more lucky kids and adults will benefit from his beautiful spirit.