Park City Freestyle Team asks for some help
This Saturday, Parkites will have a chance to make a contribution to the town’s new-school skiing scene.
On that night, The Spur will host the Park City Freestyle Ski Team’s fall fundraiser. The event will feature live music, a silent auction and raffle, along with appearance from a variety of Freestyle Team athletes and coaches.
Courtney Miller, who is organizing the event, said it will draw a diverse crowd .
"We expect a rather large mix there," she said.
The evening will kick off at 8 p.m. with music from Mark Granger. The night’s headliners, The Detonators, will follow. At the same time, fundraiser participants will be able to place bids on silent auction items ranging from restaurant packages, Christmas trees and a fly fishing trip from Park City Outfitters to a pair of Stein Eriksen "Pure Gold" skis.
"Last year The Spur had the fundraiser for the team," said Miller. "[This year] they called us and asked if we wanted to do it again."
The organization jumped at the opportunity.
"Basically [it’s] to raise money for the team," said executive director Chris Marchetti. "All of the money from this goes to course fees, cat fees and basically, on-mountain expenses."
The team, he noted, has to pay for its space on the mountain, plus the labor to build jumps and bump fields.
Marchetti and his partner head coach and program director Mick Berry bought the team last year and reorganized it as a non-profit, revamping its programs in the process.
He said the team offers freeride, freestyle and big mountain programs for its participants. The freeride programs include park and pipe work, while the freestyle programs include mogul skiing and aerials. The big mountain program focuses, predictably, on big mountain skiing.
The Freestyle Team offers the diverse slate for a simple reason.
"Mainly because of the interest of the athletes," said Marchetti.
The program, he said, generally doesn’t push its athletes into one program or another. Rather, the youth can choose their own combination of disciplines.
"A lot of the kids will do one big mountain day a week and then one freestyle day," he said.
At the same time, the team aims to prepare students for competition. Marchetti said the organization currently has 13 coaches, all US Ski and Snowboard Association-certified, and many former U.S. Ski Team athletes. Among the coaches are freeskier Brant Moles and former Olympians Sean Smith and Craig Rodman.
Marchetti said the Freestyle Team aims to serve different levels of skiers. For older athletes, he said the team was meant to serve as a U.S. Ski Team feeder program. For younger and recreational skiers, the organization offers an opportunity to learn the ropes.
"They just need to have as much fun as possible," he said.
For those looking to compete on a more serious level, Marchetti said the organization is expanding its offerings. Some of the funds raised at The Spur will go to serve that mission, he noted.
"The main thing is, we’re trying to make it more of a year-round team," he said.
That effort includes fall and spring training trips to Switzerland and South America, and year-round strength and conditioning programs in Park City.
Marchetti said the team raises about half of its budget from dues and half from sponsorships and fundraisers. He said the team hopes to raise approximately $10,000 from the event at The Spur.
The Freestyle Team’s organizational goals are even bigger. As the organization’s Web site says, "The vision of the Park City Freestyle Ski Team is to be the best freestyle program in the country."
In the meantime, the organization will be hosting a party at The Spur.
"We are still accepting donations," said Miller, "and anything is welcome."
The Park City Freestyle Ski Team is an event for those 21 and over only. The event is open to the public and starts at 8 p.m. For more information, or to donate to the organization, call 615-1618.
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