Jans Winter Welcome celebrates 33 years
Ryan Summerlin October 15, 2013
The Youth Winter Sports Alliance is now called the Youth Sports Alliance, but that doesn’t mean the mission has changed.
It sill supports winter sports activities for youths in Summit and Wasatch counties, and it still promotes good sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles through participation, education and competition, said executive director Aimee Preston.
"In addition to providing opportunities to participate, we encourage athletes that adopt a set of core values," Preston said during an interview with The Park Record. "This is a new launch with our Get Out and Play program through the elementary schools."
The first letters of the program’s core values — sportsmanship, perseverance, optimism, respect and teamwork — spell SPORT.
"These, we believe, are all building blocks for life. Some of these kids will be successful in their sports, and this is a chance for them to learn these character-building skills for their lives," Preston said.
One of the ways the Youth Sports Alliance provides programs to area children is by raising money through the annual Jans Winter Welcome that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge.
The long-standing event has been a Park City staple for 33 years, Preston said.
"It used to help the Park City Ski Team, but after the 2002 Olympics, the Utah Olympic Park and other winter-sports clubs and teams were added to its cause," she said. "So the alliance was formed to support all of them."
The YSA currently supports 13 winter sports teams in the community.
These teams are Axis Freestyle, Figure Skating Club of Park City, Park City Freestyle, Park City Ice Miners, Park City Ski Team, Park City Snowboard Team, Park City Speedskating Club, Summit Ski Team and the five at the Utah Olympic Park — G-Force Bobsled and Skeleton, Fly Freestyle, Park City Nordic Ski Club, Wasatch Freestyle and the Wasatch Luge Club.
"Winter sports can be expensive and can be a huge financial burden on parents of those who want to participate, and in this community, there are many kids that need the financial support," Preston said. "We’re very lucky that Jans Mountain Outfitters had the insight to put this event in place, because it is still such a success today in helping all these kids be able to get out in our beautiful winter-sports venues to get out and play."
Preston said she appreciates the Silver Lake Lodge for working with the YSA.
"Deer Valley has been an amazing partner to host this event year after year," she said. "The award-winning Deer Valley executive chef, Clark Norris, will champion the evening’s dining experience."
As in the past, the Winter Welcome will feature auctions, opportunity drawings and celebrity athletes.
This year’s theme will be golf, and the opportunity drawing grand prize this year is a bucket-list trip for two to the 2014 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Preston said.
The package is worth more than $12,500 and includes two nights at an Augusta hotel, admission to the Saturday and Sunday rounds of the Masters, airline travel allowance up to $2,500, transportation to and from Augusta National Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday, access to the Executive Club on Saturday and Sunday, a Friday welcome dinner featuring a celebrity guest speaker, breakfast at the hotel, an official Masters souvenir, and a PrimeSport staff on-site for assistance.
"People can give a suggested donation of $50 for an opportunity drawing ticket for a chance to win this prize package," Preston said.
Additional opportunity drawing prizes include a season pass to Park City Mountain Resort and ski package from Jans that will include skis, bindings, boots and poles.
"Auction prizes include various golf items and high-roller suites at the Venetian in Las Vegas with a dining experience with Wolfgang Puck, a Lucky Grain, hard-candy, custom finished motorcycle from Harley Davidson," she said. "It will also include a VIP Dr. Oz show experience in New York that includes lodging and tickets to his show.
"Last year, we offered the Kentucky Derby and auctioned the package off at the event, and it was a huge success," Preston said.
Although the golf theme is fun, Preston said the community can’t forget that 2014 is an Olympic year.
"Since we’re looking forward to the Olympics in Sochi, we will have several celebrity athletes attending as well," she said.
Olympic speedskate gold medalists Eric Heiden and Derek Parra, along with Olympic bobsled silver medalist Bill Schuffenhauer will be among the invited athletes.
In addition, multiple Olympic freestyle skiing medalist Shannon Bahrke and Olympic freestyle skier Sean Smith will serve as the night’s co-emcees.
"We will also have Tom Kelly, the voice of the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding, as our auctioneer," Preston said.
Kelly is also the vice president of communications for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the U.S. Ski Team.
"This year we’ve added a live DJ who will play some music after the auction," Preston said. "So we can all enjoy dinner and then have fun dancing."
Tickets for the 33rd annual Jans Winter Welcome will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge, are on sale for $250 each. Table sponsorships are also available. To buy tickets, sponsor a table or for more information, visit www.ysapc.org or call (435) 214-0792.