Jans Winter Welcome returns to an in-person fundraiser this year
Money supports the Youth Sports Alliance and its affiliated clubs
Jans Winter Welcome is back and will be held in person after COVID-19 pushed the Youth Sports Alliance event onto a virtual platform last year.
The fundraiser will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, at Stein Eriksen Lodge, and tickets are available by visiting ysa.org, said Emily Fisher, Youth Sports Alliance executive director.
“We are thrilled to be back live this year,” Fisher said. “While we did run a successful campaign last year, we didn’t have the same energy and ability to gather and tell stories about the awesome athletes and sports programs and clubs we have in our community.”
Jans Winter Welcome, now in its 41 years, will feature 400 prominent members of the local community, the snow sports industry and friends from across the country, who will mingle, dine and bid on auction items.
The goal is to raise $400,000 to support teams and fund scholarships for youth athletes, Fisher said.
Half of the money will benefit the seven YSA-affiliated sports clubs — Figure Skating Club of Park City, Park City Ice Miners Hockey, Park City Ski & Snowboard, Park City Speed Skating Club, Utah Olympic Park Skeleton & Bobsled, Wasatch Freestyle and Wasatch Luge, according to Fisher.
The rest of the money will benefit the YSA after-school programs: Get Out & Play for elementary school students, and ACTiV8 for middle and high school students, she said.
“We do have our own silent and live auction items that will benefit these programs, and we also have a paddle-raise for our Stein Eriksen Endowment, which is for need-based scholarships for athletes in our partnered clubs,” Fisher said.
The Stein Eriksen Endowment was established in 2016, shortly after the skiing legend’s passing in 2015.
The evening will begin with a hosted bar, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction, and continue with a seated dinner, live auction and a program that will feature stories from professional athletes who have participated in YSA and YSA-affiliated club programs, Fisher said.
Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety will be one of the athletes slated to attend the event, she said.
“He was one of the Jans Winter Welcome junior athletes back in the day who escorted our guests into the fundraiser,” Fisher said. “The beauty of having an event go on for 41 years is you see athletes like Ted, who participated as a junior athlete and came up through the Park City Ski Team to become an Olympic gold medalist. We look at the junior athletes this year and think about what could be for them.”
The evening will also include an opportunity drawing for a three-night night stay for two guests at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, which is in the heart of California wine country, according to Fisher.
Opportunity drawing tickets can be purchased from youths who are participating in the programs of the YSA’s affiliated sports clubs.
“When people purchase tickets from these young athletes, 100% sales go back to the individual clubs that they are members of,” Fisher said. “If you buy two or more tickets, you are also automatically registered for the runner-up prize — a full ski package from Jans Mountain Outfitters.”
Additional opportunity drawing tickets can also be purchased online at ysaparkcity.org, and the winner need not be present to claim the prize, she said.
“Likewise, if people can’t attend this year’s Jans Winter Welcome, they can still donate online,” Fisher said. “We pretty much have donate buttons on every page to make things easy.”
Last year the Youth Sports Alliance pivoted the Jans Winter Welcome to a virtual platform, and still raised $400,000, she said.
“The most important thing about our 2020 campaign is we set out to raise the same amount of money because we wanted to support our seven partner sport clubs,” Fisher said. “We went into the pandemic with seven sport clubs and we wanted to come out of the pandemic with seven sport clubs.”
The community’s support amazed Fisher.
“I was inspired and so grateful to our donors, local companies and our sponsors who were willing to step up during an uncertain time,” she said. “I think everyone saw the value of getting kids out and active off their screens with their friends.”
Fisher is also grateful to Jan Peterson, who passed away in 2016, for founding the Jans Winter Welcome.
“Even though it’s been 41 years, we still work to support athletes’ needs or help students find what their passions are so they can go on to the Olympics or become a recreational athlete for life,” she said. “This is something that inspires the YSA staff every day.”
When: 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23
Where: Stein Eriksen Lodge, 7700 Stein Way
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