Judy Shepard, Mother of Slain Wyoming Hate Crime Victim, Sets Telluride Appearances

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was murdered in Laramie, Wyo., in a notorious 1998 anti-gay hate crime, will appear at several events in Telluride open to the public on Feb. 23 and 24 during the 2010 Telluride Gay Ski Week.

Known for more than a decade of activism for equal rights, including her support of the recently enacted Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Mrs. Shepard is the co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which is the presenting sponsor of 2010 Telluride Gay Ski Week.

Mrs. Shepard will speak at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the Michael D. Palm Theatre, 721 W. Colorado Ave., on the legacy of her son’s slaying and the continuing campaign for equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Following her talk and a question-and-answer period, Mrs. Shepard will attend a book signing for her new memoir, “The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. That event at Between The Covers Bookstore, 224 W. Colorado Ave., lasts from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Mrs. Shepard will also be also the special guest the previous evening, Tuesday, Feb. 23, at a benefit dinner for the Matthew Shepard Foundation at the Capella Telluride’s Idarado Ballroom.

Tickets for that event, available online via www.MatthewShepard.org, are $200 and include dinner, an autographed copy of “The Meaning of Matthew,” a pre-dinner champagne reception, and admission to the Blue Ball dance party after the dinner. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation seeks to “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion and Acceptance” through a variety of educational, outreach and advocacy programs including facilitated discussions for high-school and college audiences, Web resources and public outreach.

About Telluride Gay Ski Week

Telluride Gay Ski Week (TGSW) is an annual week-long gay ski event produced by StraightOut Media & Marketing with support from the Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association and benefitting the Telluride AIDS Benefit locally and the Mathew Shepard Foundation nationally.  Ranked the #1 gay ski week in the USA by gay.com, TGSW is an alternative to other gay ski weeks that provides a unique vacation experience in a spirited and unpretentious ski town.  Nestled in a box canyon surrounded by the majestic 13,000 ft peaks of the San Juan Mountains, Telluride Gay Ski Week brings the charm of Telluride together with the European-style town of Mountain Village. For more information, visit www.telluridegayskiweek.com

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