Ford-Vail

By: AP
By: AP

There will be skiers carrying torches down Golden Peak.

Religious leaders will offer spiritual messages and blessings.

Musical performances will help set the mood.

And friends and colleagues of the Gerald Ford will deliver remembrances of the late president, who died Tuesday at age 93.

Ford made the Vail Valley a sort of second home in the past years, and many in the community considered him a friend.

Vail Valley Foundation President Ceil Folz says as Ford's official funeral continues, today's tribute in Vail is designed to honor his presence and contributions there.

Ford -- considered one of the more athletic presidents -- was an avid skier who began visiting Vail to ski in 1968 when he was a congressman from Michigan.

He owned a home there when he was appointed president in 1974, and later built a summer home in nearby Beaver Creek.

He helped build the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail and the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts in Beaver Creek, and played host for a celebrity golf tournament.

In the past few years, though, his failing health kept him from participating in the traditional lighting of Vail's Christmas lights.


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