High rollers will enjoy Winter Sports School fundraiser | ParkRecord.com

High rollers will enjoy Winter Sports School fundraiser

For the past 21 years, the Winter Sports School has offered an accelerated college preparatory program for high schoolers who compete in winter sports.

Its academic year runs from April to November, to give these young athletes opportunities to compete all over the world.

The school is focused on academic studies and students participate in alpine, Nordic and freestyle skiing, snowboarding, bobsled, luge, skeleton, speed and ice skaters.

In order to help do this, the school, which switched from being a private school to a public charter school two years ago, hosts a fundraiser each year.

On Saturday, May 9, the Winter Sports School will host a Casino Night Fundraiser at the Doubletree by Hilton Park City-The Yarrow, 1800 Park Ave. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m.

"During the evening people will play blackjack, we’ll have a roulette wheel and we’ll have a couple of poker tables and a prize wheel," said Mary Carlson, who is on the school’s fundraising committee. "Everyone will get the opportunity to play the games."

Recommended Stories For You

At the same time, attendees will enjoy a buffet dinner and participate in a silent auction.

The silent auction items include an array of vacation trips, jewelry donated by O.C. Tanner, spa packages and gift baskets.

"We have gift certificates from clothing outlets and sports equipment by Rossignol, and (Olympic gold medalist) Ted Ligety donated a signed item."

One of the sponsors of the evening is Skullcandy.

"They not only sponsored a table, but also donated gold-, silver- and bronze-level prizes that will be put in balloons," Carlson said. "Some balloons will include vouchers for poker chips and others will include these prizes.

"I’m not sure what the prizes will be, but they’re from Skullcandy," she said. "We’ll have everyone pop their balloons right before we start a live auction."

Live auction items include a week stay at a townhome on the beach in Puerto Rico, 30 minutes from San Juan and 45 minutes from the tropical forests, according to Carlson.

"We’ll also have a vacation in Amelia Island, Florida," she said. "We have a river rafting trip and dinner cooked by Dar Hendrickson, the coach of the Park City Ski Team."

Another hot item will be and a half-day skiing with Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen, who will be at the event, said Winter Sports School headmaster Dave Kaufman.

"We always like to have an athlete or alumni come to the event," Kaufman said.

This year the fundraiser will also feature World Cup gold medalist Sarah Hendrickson, who, last year in Sochi, became the first woman ever to jump in the women’s ski jumping event in the Olympic Games, Kaufman said.

"We’re excited to have these athletes attend the fundraiser," he said. "It’s always great to see them."

One of the main reasons for the fundraiser is to help raise money to expand the Winter Sports School, Kaufman said.

Although they moved to a new facility six years ago after holding classes in three doublewide trailers, the present campus is already become too small to accommodate all who want to enroll.

"Even though we have almost tripled our enrollment from our private-school days, the facility is too small," he explained. "We have a wait list of more than 60 students and I’m sure there are more who are unspoken for.

"We feel bad that we’re not meeting demand," Kaufman said. "There are a lot of talented athletes who want to attend, but we can’t handle more than 110 to 120 students.

"We need to grow the building and that requires a level of fundraising that we’ve never tackled before," he said. "Granted, we will never be a big school that will serve 500 to 1,000 students, but we sure would like to be able to accommodate 200 students."

The Winter Sports School will host a Casino Night Fundraiser on Saturday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Park City-The Yarrow, 1800 Park Ave. Tickets are $125 per person and all proceeds will benefit Winter Sports School students. For more information, to buy tickets or to make a donation, call 435-649-8760 or visit http://www.wintersportsschool.org .