Olympians add energy to fundraiser
The transformation from "Average Joe" to world-class athlete is often a result of genetics combined with intense, consistent training and excellent coaching.
Good genes and a strong work ethic are usually free, but the other ingredients require cash that many young athletes cannot afford.
"There’s a misconception that all the kids who compete in this community have the means to do so, and that’s not true," said Shelley Gillwald, the executive director of the Youth Winter Sports Alliance.
The 26th annual JANS Winter Welcome fundraising gala, "Medals and So Much More," will help to level the financial playing field for local aspiring Olympic athletes. The fundraiser will feature live, silent, and super silent auctions along with dinner at the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley resort Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.
"We are focused on getting kids throughout the community involved in winter sports both recreationally and competitively," said Gillwald. "We are aware of how expensive these sports are to get involved in."
Gillwald said the need for money hits athletes from all angles.
"To be involved can be cost prohibitive with all the training, the coaching, and the equipment," Gillwald said.
Gillwald said the money raised is used for developing programs, scholarships and hiring additional coaches. One example is the Summit Ski Team.
"They had a waiting list of athletes but they didn’t have enough coaches," Gillwald said. "Because of the programs, they have been able to hire coaches and expand."
The Wasatch Luge Club also has benefited from the programs. Gillwald said the athletes are required to travel to Lake Placid, New York and the money raised helps them with the travel costs.
This year’s theme is "Medals and Much More." Gillwald said it will honor the Olympians and all 11 of Park City’s youth development programs. Many athletes will be in attendance as well.
"We have almost 50 Olympians and elite athletes who are going to be there," said Gillwald, "not only to mingle with the people at the event and remind them of what happens through the proceeds, but also to encourage the bidding of items."
People attending the event will be able to choose from numerous and diverse auction items. The live auction is limited to 10 items but others will be included in two silent auctions.
"We are so fortunate in the generous community," Gillwald said. "We have pulled out a handful of top-notch auctions; we got a ton of amazing things."
Some of those items include a week stay in a four-bedroom villa at Montego Bay in Jamaica, a week sailing for two in the San Juan Islands on a 37-foot yacht called "Papa," a private party and dinner for 16 people with five-time Olympic gold medallist Eric Heiden, dinner with Dar Hendrickson one of the ski team coaches who is also a chef, a hand-crafted custom designed ruby Garnett necklace.
"We have a host of other private dinners, Rossignol is donating a heli-ski trip for two to Ruby mountain. We will auction off a plethora of ski gear, clothes, equipment etcetera."
Each year, Gillwald said, Deer Valley has donated a chairlift chair for the auction, refurbished it and decorated it.
"It’s functional art, they are art pieces for people’s lawns as porch swings or lawn swings, folks can bid on those uniquely decorated chairs," Gillwald said.
Attendees with a donation will also be entered into a drawing to win two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world courtesy of Delta Airlines.
The 26th annual JANS Winter Welcome fundraising gala, "Medals and So Much More," will take place at the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley Resort on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. It is a black tie affair and will include complimentary valet parking. At 6 p.m. there will be a red carpet welcome, a champagne reception and silent and super silent auctions will start, hosted by specialty bars. At 6:30 p.m. there will be an international cuisine offered throughout Silver Lake Lodge. At 8-8:30 p.m. the silent auction will close and at 8:45 p.m. there will be desserts and a live auction and the Delta Air Lines vacation drawing. Those who are unable to attend the Winter Welcome they can still participate in the drawing. At 9:30 p.m., the super silent auction closes, afterward, there will be cordials.
Prices are $250 per person. Patron prices start at $2,500 for Bronze Sponsors, which include 10 tickets and a quarter-page ad in the event program, $3,000 for Silver Sponsors, which includes 10 tickets and a half-page-ad and $3,500 for Gold Sponsors, which includes 10 tickets, a full-page ad. All Patron tickets include an entry into the Delta drawing. For more information, or to reserve tickets, call 901-3715.
Proceeds will benefit The Youth Winter Sports Alliance funds, which supports 11 youth sports organizations, including FLY Freestyle, Park City Freestyle Ski Team/Kids Inc, the National Sports Foundation/Park City Nordic Ski Club, Park City Ski Education Foundation, Park City Snowboard Team, Summit Ski Team, Utah Skeleton and Bobsled Association, Axis Free ride, Wasatch Freestyle, Park City Speed Skating Club and the Wasatch Luge Club.
Athletes appearing at Welcome
Ali Goblet Three time winner of the Unveiled; Invented the Misty Flip
Alissa Johnson one of the first women to be named to the US Ski Team for Ski Jumping
Anders Johnson Ski Jumper, youngest Olympian in 2006 Games in Torino
Bill DeMong- Three time Olympian in Nordic Combined
Brenna Ellis – one of the first women to be named to the US Ski Team for Ski Jumping
Brian Currutt finished 6th in Freestyle Aerials at the 2002 Olympic Games
Casey Colby Olympian in Nordic Combined
Chris Haslock 1988 Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Chris Waddell 7 time Paralymian
Emily Cook 2006 Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Eric Heiden 5 time Gold medalist in 1980 Olympics in Speed Skating
Gordy Sheer Olympian in Luge
Graham Watanabe 2006 Olympian in Boarder Cross
Heather McPhie US Ski Team Athlete in Freestyle Moguls, Two time NorAm Mogul Champ
Jana Lindsey 2006 Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Jay Bowman-Kirigin US Ski Team Athlete in Freestyle Moguls, Two time Junior Freeskier of the Year
Jillian Vogtli 2006 Olympian in Freestyle Moguls
Joe Pack 2002 Olympic Silver Medalist in Freestyle Aerials
Johnny Spillane Three time Olympian in Nordic Combined
Jon Owen Olympian in Luge
Nikki Stone 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist in Freestyle Aerials
Rosie Brennan Junior National Champion in Cross Country
Ryan St. Onge 2006 Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Stein Eriksen Olympian in Alpine
Tim Preston US Ski Team Athlete in Freestyle Moguls, 2006 NorAm Mogul Champ
Trace Worthington Two time Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Tracy Evans Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Zac Amidan US Ski Team Athlete in Freestyle Aerials
Heidi Voelker Three time Olympian in Alpine
Holly Flanders Two time Olympian in Alpine
Jonathan Cheever USASA Snowboarder Cross Champion
Kate Reed US Ski Team Athlete in Freestyle Aerials
Kris "Fuzz" Fedderson Olympian in Freestyle Aerials
Lacy Schnoor 2005 Us National Champion in Freestyle Aerials
Lincoln DeWitt 2002 Olympian in Skeleton
Lindsay Lloyd US Ski Team Athlete in Snowboarding
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