Caliente! Event An Overwhelming Success

Caliente! Event An Overwhelming Success

More than 160 Kismet Rock Foundation supporters turned out for Caliente! A Night of Salsa Dancing to Benefit Kismet Rock Foundation, presented by Polartec LLC on Saturday, November 7 at Black Mountain Ski Resort in Jackson, New Hampshire.  “It was our most successful and fun event yet,” said Brian Irwin of the Kismet Rock Foundation Board of Directors. “The band, the wonderful food, a great mix of people, we had it all.”

Founding director Mike Jewell and several Kismet Rock Foundation students kicked off the night with presentations, following an auction preview reception and cocktail hour. Students spoke about their experiences in the four-year rock climbing program and how it has impacted their lives. Volunteer of the Year awards were presented to Ken Lydecker, Gabe Flanders, Jeannine Peterson and Marilyn Grant, in recognition of their countless hours of service in support of the organization. A lit birthday cake was presented to wrap up the presentations, in honor of Kismet’s 10th year of service.

The Boston-based band Los Sugar Kings then taught a short dance lesson and played a mix of Salsa, Merengue and other styles for the remainder of the evening. The dance floor was full of smiling faces and moving bodies straight through to the last song.

The silent auction was quite popular, bringing in more than $6,000 for Kismet programs. Guests also enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts donated by Cafe Noche, Chef’s Market, Courtyard Café, Delaney’s, Flatbread Company, Frontside Grind, May Kelley’s, The Shovel Handle, Wildcat Inn & Tavern, Horsefeathers, White Mountain Cider Company, and As You Like It Bakery & Café, plus several individuals.

“Please relay our appreciation to everyone at Kismet,” said Mik Mersha of Los Sugar Kings, following Caliente!. “You are truly one of the best audiences we’ve had the pleasure of performing for.”

Many thanks to Caliente! A Night of Salsa Dancing to Benefit Kismet Rock Foundation sponsors, including Presenting sponsor Polartec LLC; Gold Level sponsors Black Mountain Ski Resort, Dutch Bloemen Winkel, Nereledge Inn and Rovetti Design; and Silver Level sponsors Belray Asset Management, Café Noche, Doug Madara, Fryeburg Veterinary Hospital, Mountain Top Music Center, Mountain Yurt Yoga and Sky Ambitions. Thanks also to dozens of volunteers who made the event possible.

Based in North Conway, NH, Kismet Rock Foundation enhances the physical, intellectual and emotional development of well-functioning but economically disadvantaged children by providing access to the immense value of a comprehensive education in technical rock climbing. Kismet Rock Foundation currently offers programs to students from Boston, MA, Manchester, NH, Bartlett, NH and Portland, ME. To learn more about Kismet Rock Foundation, make a donation or get involved as a volunteer, email [email protected], call 603-356-7738 or visit

The following photos courtesy of Bruce Raymond: