Sold-out Jans Winter Welcome opens a wait list
Tickets for the 36th Jans Winter Welcome that will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Stein Eriksen Lodge have already sold out.
But that doesn’t mean the opportunities to help raise funds for the sports clubs supported by the Youth Sports Alliance have passed, said Christy Dias, YSA’s director of sponsorships and events.
“While our event is sold out, people can still support these local athletes by purchasing opportunity drawing tickets,” Dias said during a group interview with Skating coach Erika Roberts, skating director at Park City Ice Arena and club coordinator for the Figure Skating Club of Park City.
Those also present included Park City Ski Team Director Jesse Hunt, Jans President and CEO Russ Coburn and Jim Gaddis of Gaddis Investments.
Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort and Caron Keim, president of the Youth Sports Alliance board and CFO of Jans chimed in, too..
The grand opportunity drawing is a VIP trip for two to the 2017 British Open at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club from July 19 to 24.
The package includes five-night accommodations for two in Liverpool, full English breakfasts, weekly passes for two to the open, access to the course, open transportation to and from the hotel, a “Fab 4 Beatles Taxi Tour,” a Liverpool city tour and an airline travel allowance up to $5,000 from any U.S. international airport.
Opportunity drawing tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.ysaparkcity.org.
“We also have sponsorships available if people want to help out more than just buying opportunity drawing tickets,” Dias said.
Potential sponsors can call YSA at 435-214-0729.
Still, if people want to take their chances to get into the event, there is a waitlist.
“We have 20 people on the list now,” Dias said. “People can call us and get onto the list.”
For those who were lucky enough to purchase tickets before the event sold out will be treated to a silent and live auction, as well as a sit-down dinner, live music and dancing.
Olympic silver medalist and entrepreneur Shannon Bahrke will emcee the evening.
The money raised during the event will benefit the teams and clubs that are supported by the YSA.
Here is a list of the teams YSA supports.
- Figure Skating Club of Park City
- Park City Ice Miners Youth Hockey
- Park City Ski Team
- Park City Speed Skating Club
- Summit Ski Team
- Team Park City United
- Utah Olympic Park Clubs (G-Force Bobsled & Skeleton, FLY Freestyle and Park City Nordic Ski Club)
- Wasatch Freestyle
- Wasatch LugeThe overall number of kids that benefit from YSA is 2,200, said Aimee Preston, YSA executive director.“The nine teams supported by YSA total 1,200 kids,” Preston said in an email to The Park Record. “The afterschool programs at elementary and middle schools total 1,000 kids.”
Skating coach Roberts said the Figure Skating Club of Park City is now in its eighth year because of the money raised at Jans Winter Welcome.
“The grants we receive buy training equipment, coach education and allows our athletes to travel and helps with scholarships,” she said. “ Our program has continued to grow and evolve, and this year we have two athletes who have qualified for the Figure Skating Sectional Championships.”
Hunt said the Ski Team depends on the grants to help their athletes reach their potential.
“We raise approximately 30 percent of our operating budget annually and Jans Winter Welcome is part of that,” Hunt said.
The money is funneled into three main Ski Team components.
“First there is participation,” he said. “We have grown from 80 kids to more than 200, and we want to make sure they get the training they need.”
To do that, the second component is commitment.
“The money helps provide the coaches and facilities to bring kids out of a grassroots level to a collegiate level or national level team,” he said.
The third is, like Roberts said, scholarships.
“Every kid in this community doesn’t have the resources to participate in the sport at the highest level and they need support from the community,” Hunt said.
The Youth Sports Alliance, a nonprofit, was organized just before the 2002 Olympic Games to create a legacy for the games by spearheading a community-wide effort to increase the number of children from the greater Park City area who actively participate in winter sports programs.
“We were known as the Youth Winter Sports Alliance, and we dropped Winter from the name two years ago,” Gaddis said.
Before that, Jans Mountain Recreation Experts, headed by Jan Peterson, was already getting the local youth involved with the outdoors, Coburn said.
“Jan, like his father, wanted to give back to the community,” he said. “His dad, in the early days, took kids under his wing for any outdoor activity. Jan wanted to continue that.”
In the early days it was just the Park City Ski Team, and the first Jans Winter Welcomes helped fund the team.
“When the Olympics were announced, we had all of these different sports coming through the doors,” Coburn said.
The YSA was created to help all of these teams and clubs, and Wheaton said it has been an honor for Deer Valley to host the Jans Winter Welcome from the beginning.
“[It’s] more than just an opportunity to give back,” Wheaton said. “To Jan it is all about the kids getting an opportunity to participate in sports. Jan saw that, and that is one of the special things that got this thing rolling.”
Dias said the Jans Winter Welcome itself has grown over the years because of the need.
“We receive more than $150,000 worth of scholarship requests each year, and in the past, we’ve only been able to give out $40,000,” she said. “So, we moved from Silver Lake Lodge, which was a great venue, to the [bigger] Stein Eriksen Lodge so more guests could join us to help raise more money.”
Last year’s event raised close to $500,000. This year, YSA hopes to increase the scholarships with the help of the Stein Eriksen YSA Opportunity Endowment.
“The idea for the endowment came several years ago,” Gaddis said. “YSA wanted to create and endowment and I had talked to Stein prior to that because he wanted to help kids as well.”
Over a two-year period, the endowment raised more than $2 million. Gaddis said the earnings of that money goes directly to scholarships.
The 36th Jans Winter Welcome, a benefit for the Youth Sports Alliance, will be held Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. For sponsorship opportunities, opportunity drawing entries or placement on the waiting list, call 435-214-0792 or visit http://www.ysaparkcity.org.
Author Edward Massey will present a reading and book signing of his new historic novel “Fugitive Sheriff” at the Kamas Valley Branch on Friday.