Live Like Sam prepares fundraiser for scholarships that will help youths develop social and emotional skills |

Live Like Sam prepares fundraiser for scholarships that will help youths develop social and emotional skills

Online auction opens Wednesday

The second annual Live Like Sam Day event and fundraiser, featuring the Flying Ace All-Star show, fireworks, auctions, a DJ and dancing, is scheduled to launch Saturday at the Utah Olympic Park.

Live Like Sam is a nonprofit started in 2019 by the family of Sam Jackenthal, a U.S. Junior National Freestyle champion and an internationally ranked freeskier who died after a 2015 ski-training accident in Australia.

“We hope to raise $200,000 that will go back to our overall programming,” said the nonprofit’s founder Ron Jackenthal. “The money will help us launch Thrive, our new Live Like Sam life skills and coaching program, which will serve a minimum of 300 local youth in 2022. We will also use the event to announce our new scholarship suite for local youth.”

The programming is being launched through a two-pronged approach, with approximately 35–50% of all programming and scholarships being held for youth from lower-income families, according to Jackenthal.

A key aspect of programming will include the Thrive curriculum that pairs youths with life coaches for peer-to-peer mentoring to teach resilience, self-identity, gratitude, self-compassion, and other social and emotional skills, Jackenthal said.

“We will also reward and recognize youth who live like Sam through three distinct scholarship and award programs,” he said.

The awards are: the Pursue Your Passion scholarship, the Give Like Sam grant and Live Like Sam Awards.

“These scholarships were heavily impacted by the influence of my daughter, Skylar, co-founder of our foundation,” Jackenthal said.

The Pursue Your Passion scholarships will provide opportunities for youths to explore and grow their passions in academics, sports, hobbies or other interests, while the Give Like Sam grants will provide resources for community-minded individuals and groups to establish meaningful service projects and activities to benefit youth in Park City, Jackenthal said.

“The Live Like Sam Awards will recognize exceptional youth for demonstrating the essentials of living like Sam which are self-awareness, courage, kindness, joy and leadership,” he said.

Saturday’s fundraiser will also feature live and online auctions, according to Jackenthal.

“We have more than $150,000 worth of experiences, vacations, fine dining and winter sports gear and clothing,” he said. “We live in an incredibly generous and philanthropic community, and I am humbled to live here and witness the generosity of our community members.”

In addition, one of Live Like Sam’s partners, Vessel Kitchen, will match donations to the nonprofit on Saturday and Sunday at the restaurant’s Park City location, 1784 Uinta Way, Jackenthal said.

A videographer captures the late Sam Jackenthal doing what he loved. Jackenthal's family established Live Like Sam, a nonprofit that honors the skier.
Courtesy of Live Like Sam

Live Like Sam officially launched in 2019, and while the original idea of community, athletics, responsibility and education (C.A.R.E.), is still at the core of the nonprofit’s offerings, the Jackenthals are adjusting some of its focus after receiving feedback from a community survey.

The majority of the 1,600 survey respondents represented local education, wellness, sport, mental health, family, civic and religious sectors, Jackenthal said.

“What we learned is that our community feels there is so much available to our youths in the way of sport, but there is so little related to their social and emotional health,” he said. “There is such a strong need to increase resources that will help our youth become socially, emotionally and mentally fit for life. We are striving to do so in an equitable way across the varied income communities, and establish programs that are face-to-face, when it’s safe to do so.”

Throughout the past few months, Live Like Sam has also worked with local schools in Park City to continue to help kids “live like Sam,” according to Jackenthal.

“All of our local schools have all generously agreed to support Live Like Sam Day this week with assemblies and in-class presentations about Live Like Sam and how kids can participate,” he said. “The schools will also had out 7,000 commemorative Live Like Sam stickers that say, ‘Live Like Sam — Choose Kindness.’”

Jackenthal is humbled by the community’s support for his young and growing nonprofit.

“It feels like we are past the toddler stage and going into the young-adult stage thanks to all the support,” he said.

Jackenthal also feels the community’s support has put Live Like Sam in a unique position to play a vital role in delivering high-impact, social-emotional programming to enhance the lives of youth in the community.

Last year, the Live Like Sam fund evolved into the Live Like Sam Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. It has already awarded more than $150,000 and 200 youth scholarships, as well as presented more than $50,000 of character and spirit awards to 40 Park City area youth, Jackenthal said.

“We also raised $10,000 for COVID-19 relief benefitting Park City Community Foundation and Christian Center of Park City,” he said.

Still, with all the nonprofit’s work, Jackenthal and his daughter Skylar, who has taken on a strong leadership role this past year, still mourn Sam.

“Losing a child is the most painful thing that any parent can imagine, and while we will always be in a state of grief, in so many ways, Sam is still here with us today, Jackenthal said. “We get to have this untraditional and unorthodox, day-to-day business relationship with Sam in creating this powerful and impactful local foundation for our youth, helping them to have self-love and self-compassion, ultimately.”

Live Like Sam Day Event

When: 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9.

Where: Utah Olympic Park


Live Like Sam online auction

The Live Like Sam online auction will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Most of the items can be previewed now by visiting

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