2019 Fat Ski-a-Thon | Press Release


Funds raised will help injured outdoor sports athletes recover from their respective injuries and return to the sports they love

Full Release & Photos –> https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hPvSNAJ0g-QA3zvDpI0kEO6Gptya10GL?usp=sharing 

Warren, VT, March 12, 2019 – The High Fives Foundation shared the slopes with over 200 skiers and snowboarders at Sugarbush Resort’s Valley House lift on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 for the Eighth Annual Fat Ski-A-Thon. Participants skied “fun laps” under beautiful blue New England skies in support of the Foundation.
High Fives provides grants to outdoor sports athletes who suffer from life-altering injuries such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries. They also teach safety awareness and smart decision making at schools locally in Northern Vermont and across the country.

On Friday, March 1st, prior to the event, the Foundation hosted an adaptive ski camp at Sugarbush Resort. The camp saw nine participants sit-skiing under the instruction of the professionals at Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. Some camp participants skied in the Fat Ski-a-Thon as well.

“The instructors at Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports are in a league of their own,” said High Fives Athlete Nick Fairall. “I was excited to participate in the camp, and then shred with all of the folks in the Ski-a-Thon. It was a great weekend!”

The Fat Ski-a-Thon started in 2011 as an event for local Vermonters to spend a day skiing on “fat” skis at Sugarbush Resort, but it has transformed into a community event that welcomes all demographics. Expert skiers, novice skiers, adaptive skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to join in on the fun.

Accomplished adaptive skier, and High Fives Athlete, Trevor Kennison was excited to participate in this year’s event.

“Skiing has really become a huge part in my life since my 2014 spinal cord injury,” said Kennison. “Witnessing all of the smiles at Sugarbush certainly confirmed that I’m not the only one who enjoys this amazing sport!”

The Eighth Annual Fat Ski-a-Thon transformed Sugarbush’s base-area beyond the normal weekend party. Participants used the Valley House and Super Bravo lifts to ski throughout the day. Ski-a-Thon participants danced in the lift line to Vermont’s DJ Professor, while they filled their pockets with donated snacks from local sponsors like the Village Grocery, Cabot Cheese, Vermont Village and the Localfolk Smokehouse.

The following sponsors helped to make this event a success as well: GoPro, SNOCRU, VT North Ski Shop, Sugarbush Resort, Ski the East, Marker Dalbello Volkl, Ski Vermont, Phunkshun Wear and Locale Outdoor Apparel.

The post-event awards ceremony recognized outstanding individuals. The following people were presented with awards for their efforts: Top Individuals Fundraiser – Richard Lewis ($11,003 raised), Top Fundraising Team – Powda! Killers ($19,128 raised), Top Duo – Rubi and Mae Murphy ($32,944 raised), Top Trio – the Doyle family ($3,844 raised), Partner of the Year – Ski the East (8 years of support), Most Awesome Award – Team Love Like Mary ($7,141 raised), Top Performance – Nick Romano (High Fives athlete).

At the conclusion of the event, the Foundation reported just over $200,000 in online donations, coming very close to the organizations goal of $210,000. By the end of the day, event participants worked together to achieve the goal.

The 2019 Fat Ski-a-Thon became the most successful fundraiser in High Fives Foundation history.

“The FAT Ski-a-Thon event started as an event to bring awareness to the organization in my home state of Vermont” said Roy Tuscany, CEO & Founder of the High Fives Foundation, and former Waterbury, Ver. native. “Over the last 8 years of the event, we have watched it grow from a 25-person event, raising around $15,000, to the largest event in Foundation history with over 200 participants and over $211,000 raised. It speaks to High Fives support in Vermont, and I am truly proud to have grown up in such a caring area of the country.”

The $211,650 raised at the 2019 Fat Ski-a-Thon will be distributed through the organizations Empowerment Fund to support critically injured outdoor sports athletes. The High Fives Foundation has supported 235 athletes in 32 states across the country.

“I grew up grew up with Roy (Tuscany) and High Fives,” said 12-year old, annual event participant, Mae Murphy. “I’ve met a lot of High Fives athletes and I know how much this money helps them. I can’t wait for next year!”
Donations will be accepted through March 31st at www.fatski.highfivesfoundation.org


High Fives Non-Profit Foundation, based in Truckee, CA, became an official 501c.3 non-profit on January 19, 2009. Founded by Roy Tuscany, the Tahoe-based Foundation focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they happen. Since 2009, the Foundation has helped 235 athletes from 32 states. For more information, visit www.highfivesfoundation.org

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