Following the success of the 2017 Military to the Mountains program, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will continue to offer season passes to active duty military, now in exchange for a $50 donation. With the increased donation price, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will drastically grow their support of Military to the Mountains, affording 22 injured veterans of the United States armed forces to train for, and participate in, a week on the slopes of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows next spring. The increased donation amount will ensure that the Military to the Mountains program will both remain sustainable, and continue to grow, year after year, with the potential of offering multiple 10-week sessions in years to come.
“We are both proud and honored to continue our commitment to active duty military and our support of the Military to the Mountains program,” said Andy Wirth, President of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Not only do active duty military have the opportunity to ski and ride all season long at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, but they are also supporting their brothers and sisters in arms. At just $50 per season pass, our annual projections are expected to exceed the $300,000 mark.”
The resort will continue to provide a Silver Tahoe Super Pass to active duty military personnel, along with a note of appreciation and a challenge coin for a donation of $50, of which all proceeds support the Military to the Mountains program. Additional donations are also accepted at the resort on behalf of the organization.
“There’s a tragic and unacceptable metric associated with veterans who have selflessly served our country – 22 take their own lives each day,” Wirth continued. “As a company, community and country, we have to do more for our veterans. This is our small, humble attempt to support those warriors who have served our country.”
Created by the High Fives Foundation following the success veteran Marine Corporal Jacob (Jake) Schick achieved while skiing at Squaw Valley during the 2014-15 winter season, the Military to the Mountains program is a collective effort between High Fives Foundation, Adaptive Training Foundation, the City of Reno, Achieve Tahoe and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
“Military to Mountains is the epitome of a force multiplier for the greater good,” said Shick. “This program is vital to feeding souls from all walks of life and giving hope to the otherwise hopeless.”
Now in its third full year, the program begins in January with a 9-week training class. Fifteen athletes train at the Dallas, TX based Adaptive Training Foundation, founded and operated by retired NFL linebacker, David Vobora. The mission of the Adaptive Training Foundation is to empower the human athlete, restore hope through movement, and redefine the limits of individuals with disabilities. Their role in this effort is to train military veterans who have been severely injured to be physically ready for adaptive skiing lessons. The remaining 7 athletes split their 9-week training regimen between the City of Reno, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and High Fives Foundation, with the same goal of readying their bodies for adaptive skiing lessons.
Following the 9-week training, High Fives and Adaptive Training Foundation bring the 15 Texas athletes to Reno on flights hosted by American Airlines to meet up with the seven local athletes. All 22 athletes will then stay and ski at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows with Achieve Tahoe adaptive ski instructors from March 11-17, 2018.
“It is powerful to see the outcomes of positive transformations by each veteran that participates in Military to the Mountains” says Roy Tuscany, Executive Director of High Fives Foundation “This increased donation will bring sustainability to the program and allow us to increase the number of veterans (athletes) that have been through this 10-weeks of personal training and skiing/snowboarding.”
With the increased donation price, the Military to the Mountains program will now make a $22,000 annual donation to 22Kill, through the High Fives Foundation. 22Kill picks up where Military to the Mountains leaves off, providing veterans in need with resources and empowerment programs geared toward suicide prevention that include mental, physical and non-traditional therapies.