Summit County ski mountaineering athletes fundraise for World Championship trip
Summit County’s contingent of 14 ski mountaineering athletes, who will be competing at next month’s world championships in Villars, Switzerland, are asking for some help to get them there.
The United States Ski Mountaineering Association’s National Team will host three fundraising events in the county over the next month. The team has also launched a GoFundMe campaign and is selling Alaskan seafood as part of the fundraising effort.
The team is hoping to raise a total of $23,000 to help offset $1,500 for each competing athlete. Summit County local and U.S. team member Jaime Brede said the $1,500 will help to cover the cost for airfare as well as a week of room and board. Brede said team members are required to stay at the team’s host hotel for nine days. It’s a steep expense for athletes, as the U.S. Ski Mountaineering Association is a governing body much smaller than its Olympic-counterparts, which have established donors and reserve funds that help cover athlete expenses.
“It’s not only about raising money to kind of capture the cost of doing an expensive sport — we realize the privilege,” Brede said. “But it’s also about bringing the community together. It’s fun for our team to work on efforts together, to work on team building and it’s a good way to highlight our sport.”
The first event is a buffet dinner at the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne on Friday, Feb. 8, from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For advance tickets, you can call 970-468-2561.
The second is a happy-hour party at the Breckenridge Brewery on Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 4-6 p.m. The event will feature two drink tickets, a raffle ticket and appetizers for $20.
The third is a party and silent auction at Wilderness Sports in Dillon on Friday, Feb. 15, from 7-9 p.m. For $20, participants can receive two beers and light appetizers and deserts. Red Buffalo Cafe will also be providing hot non-alcoholic drinks for a suggested donation at the event for those who choose not to have beer or are under 21 years of age. A raffle and silent auction will also be held.
Fifty percent of the proceeds from the Elks Lodge and 100 percent of the proceeds from the Breckenridge Brewery and Wilderness Sports events will go to the team. Team members will also be on-site at each event.
Summit County locals scheduled to compete in Switzerland include Brede, Connor Albin, Sierra Anderson, Elsa Bates, Max Bonenberger, Sam Burke, Paul Hans, Mark Jardim, Nikki LaRochelle, Finn Remias, Grace Staberg, Sam Wescott, Jeremiah Vaille and Kate Zander.
You can find the GoFundMe campaign at GoFundMe.com/Us-National-Skimo-Team. As of Thursday afternoon, the campaign had raised just over $3,000 of its $10,000 goal. To purchase the Alaskan seafood, contact Sierra Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the athletes, visit SummitSkiMo.com.
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