Keeping avalanche victim's memory alive - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Keeping avalanche victim's memory alive

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Madelyn and Ian Lamphere Madelyn and Ian Lamphere
Ian and Elizabeth Lamphere Ian and Elizabeth Lamphere
Leigh Lamphere and Elizabeth Lamphere Leigh Lamphere and Elizabeth Lamphere

A Vermont man and founder of the Stowe Film Festival died in April in the deadliest avalanche in Colorado in 50 years. Now, a new fund has been established to help his legacy live on.

Ian Lamphere was an expert skier. Rescuers told reporters at the scene he had taken every precaution and was properly trained. But the 600-foot-wide avalanche was just too powerful. Five people died that day, only one in his group survived. Now, Lamphere's family is hoping that by helping others his memory will live on.

"What I'm going through can't be defined in one word, or even a thousand," said Elizabeth Lamphere, on losing her husband.

Underhill native and University of Vermont grad Ian Lamphere was killed in an avalanche in Colorado. He was at an event promoting backcountry safety.

"He was fun. He lived his life hard and with excitement and enjoyment, and every minute of every day was fun for him," Leigh Lamphere said.

After the avalanche, Ian's cousin Leigh set up an online fund to cover funeral costs and plane tickets for Ian's wife and infant daughter, Madelyn. In a matter of days, it had nearly $40,000.

"We really realized that people were really touched by Ian's story and that there are other stories like Ian's out there," Leigh said.

Together, Leigh and Elizabeth have started the International Avalanche Nest-Egg-- or IAN. It's a fund to help children who lose a parent in an avalanche. According to the University of Colorado, nearly 150 people die each year in avalanches, most are men around the age of 30.

"They need to be sure that they will have a place to live. They have to be sure that they've got health care. They have to be sure that they can go and see family once in a while. You know, the really basic things," Elizabeth explained. 

Elizabeth and Leigh know their goals are lofty, but they feel it's what Ian would have wanted. Elizabeth says he actually dreamt up the idea himself three days before he died.

"When you ask me how I'm feeling and how I'm coping, this is how I'm coping because this is something positive to do. This is something proactive to do and this is something that really does make me feel better," she said.

Related Story:

Vt. man killed in Colo. avalanche

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