Mad River Valley skiing community raises a record $150K at Sugarbush Ski-A-Thon

The funds will help injured mountain sports athletes


Warren, VT, March 1, 2016 – The High Fives Foundation shared the slopes with over 175 skiers and boarders at the Mt. Ellen lift on Sunday, February 28, 2016 for the fifth annual Fat Ski-A-Thon. Participants skied “fun laps” under cloudy New England skies in celebration of the most successful fundraiser the Foundation has ever hosted in its history.

High Fives gives grants to athletes with major injuries such as spinal cord or brain injuries. They also teach safety awareness and smart decision making at schools locally in Northern Vermont and across the country.

As of Tuesday, March 1st, the Foundation reported over $129,000 for online donations, with offline donations pushing them well over their goal of $150,000, including a matching pledge of $5,000 from an anonymous donor.

“It’s just fitting that the ‘fifth’ Fat Ski-AThon raised the most money in our history,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives executive director. “It shows the strength of community that exists in the Mad River Valley and their care for our athletes and for our program services.”

The event transformed Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen chairlift and lodge beyond the normal weekend party. Ski-A-Thoners danced in the lift line to Vermont’s DJ Professor. They filled their pockets with donated snacks from local sponsors like The Village Grocery, Liz Lovely and Cabot Cheese and the Localfolk Smokehouse. Even national brands contributed like Runa Energy Drinks, Vita Cocoa and Clif Bar.

“I think we are so fortunate to have good weather. This community is so powerful,  and I already can’t wait to do it again next year,” said Jesse Murphy, director of development for the Foundation and GM of Vermont North Ski Shop at the base of Sugarbush Access Road. “A lot of the participants got to ski along side our athletes in mono-skis and what not. Its always so cool to see them out on the hill.”

The ski and snowboarding mobile app Snocru contributed $5,000 to the overall team fundraising to the first team to ski 50,000 vertical feet. The team of Kevin Wry, Jack Cronin and Sam Gerdeman won this accolade.

However, the largest fundraising success was the duo of Mae Murphy (age 10) and Rubi Murphy (age 11). They collectively raised $20,645.  “It’s not hard to ask people [to donate],” said Mae Murphy. “You just ask them, and if they can do it, they will help.”


HERE is a link to the 2016 Fat Ski-A-Thon gallery by Weston Walker

Donations will be accepted through March 5th at


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