Utah Avalanche Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah seek funds | ParkRecord.com

Utah Avalanche Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Utah seek funds

Anna Moore

Henry Smith, pictured second from the left in the top row, in front of the New Park Hotel, around 1918.

Over 100 Summit County area nonprofits are participating in Live PC Give PC this year. The day of giving, organized by the Park City Community Foundation kicks off at midnight this Thursday and continues through midnight Friday. During the day the nonprofits indulge in a friendly rivalry for matching prizes that go to the groups that raise the most money and those that have the most donors. Here are a couple of nonprofits that are participating:

The Utah Avalanche Center<>

It has been an exciting year for the Utah Avalanche Center (UAC). Not only have they been receiving international recognition for their avalanche educational programs, but their short film entitled, "Know Before You Go," has earned a spot at this year's Banff Film Festival. Aimed at middle and high school students, the film sends a "simple and impactful message about safety in the mountains," says UAC's executive director, Paul Diegel. With advice from snow experts and professional athletes, including Jeremy Jones, Jimmy Chin, and Brody Leven, the film inspires viewers to be safer in the backcountry.

The film is but a small portion of the UAC's education programs. Avalanche safety courses give locals the tools to read terrain and make lifesaving decisions in the backcountry. Along with having the "Greatest Snow On Earth," Utah also has some of the greatest avalanche danger areas in the United States. With more and more skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers heading into the backcountry each winter, the importance of understanding avalanche terrain is paramount. "Our goal is to keep people on top of the snow," says Diegel.

About two-thirds of the UAC's funding comes from donations and benefit events like Live PC Give PC. The money raised at this year's event will directly fund daily avalanche reports for the Wasatch Front, Back, Logan, LaSal, Manti-Skyline, Abajo, and Uinta mountains. It's important for Parkites to give to the UAC because, "working and recreating in the mountains are the core values of this area," says Diegel.

For more information about the Utah Avalanche Center, go to: utahavalanchecenter.org
To donate on Friday, go to http://www.livepcgivepc.org

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Big brothers Big Sisters of Utah

In 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah (BBBSU) mentored a total of 1,111 kids. With help from last year's Live PC Give PC donations, BBBSU of Summit and Wasatch counties was able to grow its community-based programs to six times its previous size. Lacey Cole-Rae, Park City's BBBSU coordinator, hopes to continue to grow the program by finding "consistent and dependable mentors," for local children. BBBSU works hard to find the perfect mentors for each child with a detailed application process. Once selected, a mentor will meet with a child and his/her parents two, to four times a month. "When you see how a child lights up when their "big" shows up to a program, you know that what we're doing has an impact," says Cole-Rae.

Some "bigs" and "littles" stay matched for many years. One little just graduated from Park City High School after eight years of companionship with her mentor. With help from their big, "that student will become a first generation college student," says Cole-Rae. Beyond afterschool tutoring, BBBS mentors provide social support and expose children to new experiences. Just last week, local bigs and littles took a field trip to the Heber Valley Railroad for a history lesson and some fun. All money raised at this year's Live PC Give PC event will go directly to the 130 children involved in the Summit and Wasatch county BBBSU chapter.

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, go to: bbbsu.org
To donate on Friday, go to http://www.livepcgivepc.org