Over $117,000 raised from the FAT SKI A THON at Sugarbush, VT for the High Fives Foundation!
Funds will help mountain action sports athletes with life-altering injuries.
The Lake Tahoe-based High Fives Nonprofit Foundation joined hundreds of supporters at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vt. on March 1st for its 4th annual Fat Ski-a-Thon. The event raises money for mountain and winter action sports athletes who have suffered a life-altering injury.
Participants of all ages spent weeks beforehand collecting donations and pledges based on the number of laps they would complete. The 4th annual event exceeded its fundraising goal.
“I consider the 2015 Fat Ski-a-Thon a huge success,” said High Fives Co-Founder and Executive Director, Roy Tuscany. “This year participants contributed more than 800 individual donations and exceeded the fundraising goal of $100,000 to raise more than $117,000 for the Foundation. This is an extraordinary increase from last year’s event that raised roughly $88,000.”
The Fat Ski-a-Thon name comes from the stipulation that all of the skis in use during the day must be built for powder conditions with a waist of 70 millimeters or wider. Normally, this would be an ironic stipulation in icy Vermont conditions, but not this year, thanks to a season total of 194 inches of snow at Sugarbush Resort.
In one day, 150 skiers skied a combined 1,386 laps beneath the Summit Chairlift totaling approximately 1,442,826 vertical feet in the name of fundraising. Thirteen-year-old participant Thomas Sullivan took home the Tom Thumb Endurance Belt award for being able to ski a record 28 laps on the grueling trail “Black Diamond” in the allotted time.
“I love skiing at Sugarbush anyway, and this was a really cool way to raise money for an organization that I love,” Sullivan said after the award ceremony.
The funds raised at the Fat Ski-a-Thon are a demonstration of the heartfelt support for the High Fives Foundation shared by the extended community of the Mad River Valley. A special movie was viewed at the awards ceremony that included personal “thank-you” messages from five High Fives Empowerment Athletes who will benefit from the funds raised by this event.
As the High Fives Foundation continues to grow as an organization, events like the Fat Ski-a-Thon are bringing closer the eventual goal to construct an official High Fives Foundation Healing Center in the Mad River Valley where High Fives Athletes and community members can recover from life-altering or mountain action sports related injuries.
“The people here really care about skiing, and they really care about each other, so it makes sense that we can make an event like the Ski-a-Thon as successful as it is year after year,” Said Jesse Murphy, High Fives Foundation Board of Director member and owner of Vermont North Ski Shop who was a title sponsor for the event.
In addition to raising funds from flat donations and pledges during the event on Sunday, the High Fives Foundation also raised money at their official pre-party hosted at the Localfolk Smokehouse in Waitsfield, Vt. on Saturday night, February 28. Ski-a-Thon participants were able to pre-register for Sunday’s event while entering raffles, bidding on live and silent auction items and feasting on Tex-Mex cuisine. Legendary Vermont bluegrass band The Mad Mountain Scramblers lead the jamboree.