Denver girl raises funds for Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center with bat mitzvah skiathon
Tali’s goal is $1,000 for 20,000 vertical feet
Tali Klein is growing up. The 12-year-old will be celebrating her bat mitzvah, a Jewish rite of passage, this June in Denver. But before that, the resident of Englewood is giving back to the Summit County community.
Tali will be doing a skiathon Thursday, March 3, at Breckenridge Ski Resort to raise money for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. She’ll be making laps on Peak 9’s Beaver Run SuperChair with a goal to ski at least 20,000 vertical feet and raise $1,000 for the nonprofit that provides adaptive sports opportunities. The fundraiser, along with volunteer work she is doing with the organization, is part of a project required for her bat mitzvah.
The idea for the service project happening in Summit stems from Tali’s love of skiing. Like her mom, Tracy, Tali has been on the slopes since she was 3 years old. They spend as much time as possible in the High Country, and Tali likes the occasion for bonding. While there is usually cell service, she thinks of the mountains as a time to unplug from the rest of the world.
“I like how you can disconnect and be with your family and be in the present,” Tali said.
Tali’s favorite places to ski are Breckenridge and Copper Mountain Resort. She’s especially a fan of Breckenridge’s expert, double black diamond Lake Chutes.
“We just started taking them on everything when they were little,” Tracy said.
Tali was born in Ohio and Tracy grew up skiing on the East Coast, but Tracy has been going out west since middle school, and the family eventually moved to Colorado. Tali also enjoys swimming and has a meet the next day after the skiathon.
Once they knew they wanted to do something related to skiing, the Kleins researched nonprofits Tali could assist for the traditional good deed.
“At first we thought about avalanche dogs, but I wanted to volunteer as well because I think it’s really important to see what you’re doing is helping, and not just donate money,” Tali said.
The education center was chosen to strengthen their ties with the community, and also because of Tali’s grandfather. Tracy said he was a really avid skier, but a neurological condition means he can’t ski anymore and now exercises with an adaptive bike. Tali had fun skiing with him and she wants to share privilege of skiing with other kids in similar situations.
She first volunteered on Christmas Eve skiing with a girl with a developmental disability and seizure disorder. The girl needed to be strapped to the lift, and Tali and her father skied behind her while she had her lesson. Tali said she won’t forget being able to share the experience of skiing with the girl. On top the skiathon, she has two more volunteer days scheduled with the education center.
Barry Rubenstein, marketing and events manager for the center, applauds Tali’s service project. The organization’s larger fundraisers include the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Riverwalk Center and Tee It Up Golf Scramble in Keystone, each raising about $70,000 to $75,000 in past years. The nonprofit also occasionally sees businesses and restaurants do one-off events where they donate a percentage of sales.
Yet Rubenstein said Tali spreading the mission of the center is invaluable, and that her $1,000 will still go a long way toward providing adaptive experiences for their participants.
“I’m really impressed with the initiative that Tali has shown toward not only doing the skiathon and donating the money toward BOEC, but as a young lady, volunteering her time to help with our ski program and those people that don’t typically get to go out on the mountain,” Rubenstein said. “It’s highly commendable what she’s doing. Every little bit helps and we’re extremely appreciative of it.”
Rubenstein estimated that the money Tali raises could provide around 15 days of adventure programs. Along with skiing or snowboarding, it could aid in summer programs, like boating or people enjoying the accessible ropes course and climbing wall.
As of this writing, Tali has raised $978 out of her $1,000 goal from 17 donations. A flat donation can be given at GoFundMe.com/f/talis-mitzvah-project-boec-adapted-ski-program. If a person wishes to donate per 1,000 vertical feet skied, they can reach out to Tali in the comment section their pledge and make the total contribution following the skiathon.
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