Fight cancer the fun way with Pink Vail | SummitDaily.com

Fight cancer the fun way with Pink Vail

Shauna Farnell
Special to the Daily
Launched in 2012 to support programs to treat breast cancer, Pink Vail now focuses fundraising on all cancer survivors and everyone affected by the disease.
Zach Mahone | Special to the Weekly |

If you go

What: Pink Vail — the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer

When: 8:30 a.m. to apres Saturday, April 5

Where: Vail Mountain, event headquartered atop Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead

Cost: The cost to register is $25, which includes an official credential and lanyard, as well as a gift card for a burger at Larkburger and beer at Crazy Mountain Brewery. Everyone who raises $50 or more gets a Pink Vail beanie. You must provide your own pass or lift ticket to get on the mountain.

More information: Register to participate at www.pinkvail.com. Personalize your fundraising webpage and ask friends and family to sponsor your ski/snowboard day; 100 percent of event proceeds benefit the Shaw Regional Cancer Center, including its Spirit of Survival program.

Nowhere in the world is there a bigger ski and snowboard day to fight cancer than Pink Vail, which will be held this year on Saturday, April 5. The feel-good party that comes with it is just an added bonus.

Launched in 2012 to support programs to treat breast cancer, Pink Vail now focuses fundraising on all cancer survivors and everyone affected by the disease.

Much in the same way people seek fundraising sponsors for shaving their head, growing a mustache, walking, running or cycling, Pink Vail participants encourage friends and family to sponsor their day on Vail Mountain to raise money for cancer survivorship programs. At Pink Vail, you can ski or ride however you like — for just one run or from open to close, if you feel so inclined. You can also just hang out on the deck all day with your friends rocking a pink tutu … or full-body hot pink spandex. It happened last year.

Two years ago, 683 cancer survivors, friends, husbands, wives, sons, daughters and grandchildren of survivors and those impacted by cancer turned out on Vail Mountain to ski and ride. Many were clad in zany, rose-colored costumes adorned with signs reading, “I’m skiing for my mom and dad,” “Riding for grandma,” “This is for you, Susie, R.I.P,” etc. Last year, the number of participants — not to mention the heartfelt enthusiasm — nearly doubled, and so did the funds raised. More than $350,000 was donated to Shaw Regional Cancer Center, in Edwards, a facility originally built by generous donations from the Shaw family and which for the last 12 years has become one of the most highly touted cancer treatment centers in the U.S. One of the Shaw programs supported by Pink Vail is the Spirit of Survival, which provides every Shaw patient with free exercise classes, nutrition coaching, outdoor adventures, wellness services and individualized emotional support geared to inspiring them to transcend the disease.

“The Spirit of Survival is a program unique to Shaw that makes a significant and lasting impact on each patient as they face the challenges of the diagnosis and treatment,” said Peggy Carey, vice president of Shaw center. “Being told you have cancer changes your life; we have built a program to help patients become physically and mentally strong, sometimes more so than before their diagnosis. Pink Vail has created a program we should all be proud of as a community.”

There is no age limit to register for Pink Vail. You can sign up as an individual or as a team but need to supply your own pass or lift ticket to ski. The cost to register is $25, which includes an official credential and lanyard, as well as a gift card for a free burger at Larkburger and beer at Crazy Mountain Brewery. Everyone who raises $50 or more gets a Pink Vail beanie. Every participant is encouraged to contact friends and family to seek pledges, with awards and prizes given to those who receive the highest donations.

The Pink Vail scene

On Saturday, Eagle’s Nest at the top of Vail Mountain becomes a flamingo party beginning at 8:30 a.m., complete with pink carpet and photo booth. While some participants just like to hang out all day looking pretty in pink, others take on the Checkpoint Challenge, skiing or riding to sunny decks all over the mountain to get their credentials punched and earn a better chance at prize giveaways.

There’s also a costume contest from 2 to 2:30 p.m. and live music from local bluegrass favorite Hardscrabble from 1 to 3 p.m. Following a rally and awards presentation, participants become one collective sea of pink during the Celebration Ski Down at 3:30 p.m.

“Pink Vail is a true celebration of our united effort to support patients facing cancer,” Carey said.

“We rarely get to ski for a cause, and this day not only raises money but also celebrates the courage and strength it takes to fight cancer.”

To register or for more information, visit pinkvail.com. Pink Vail benefits Shaw Regional Cancer Center, a service on the nonprofit Vail Valley Medical Center.

Shauna Farnell is freelance writer contracted by the Vail Valley Medical Center to write this story.


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