Live PC Give PC athletic and outdoor nonprofits: G-Force, Utah Rivers Council and Women’s Ski Jumping USA
The nonprofit bonanza Live PC Give PC is scheduled to run all day Friday, with fundraising celebrated across the community and online at livepcgivepc.org.
The area’s big-name nonprofits will be on the list, including the Mountain Trails Foundation, the Youth Sports Alliance, Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation and Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.
But there are also plenty of smaller organizations that aim to improve the community as well that will solicit donations.
Women’s Ski Jumping USA
Over the past year, the women’s Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping national teams moved under the wing of USA Nordic from Women’s Ski Jumping USA.
Laura Sanky, president of the WSJUSA, said the move allows the organization to “focus more on our mission of trying to develop the best women ski jumpers in the world and continue our advocacy for women’s equality in sports.”
The nonprofit provides four grants to women jumpers.
The first is the Peter Jerome Character, Confidence and Courage grant.
Named after the organization’s founder, the grant provides an athlete with $2,000 toward ski jumping. It can be used to purchase gear, cover competition fees or cover travel expenses.
The Deedee Corradini Fly Girls Grant, named after a past president of Women’s Ski Jumping USA, supports the host of the Fly Girls camp with $5,000. The camp brings ski jumpers from across the nation to Park City to train and compete together.
The Junior World Championship Grant provides support to U.S. athletes going to compete at the Junior World Championship competition. The nonprofit gave five competitors $2,000 each to compete in the 2018 Junior World Championships in Kandersteg, Switzerland.
“It’s expensive and there’s not a ton of sponsorship in ski jumping, so it’s nice to be able to support them,” Sanky said.
The fourth grant is the Equal Pay for Equal Points grant, which supports World Cup athletes.
“According to the FIS rules, men make basically 100 Swiss francs ($99.62) per point that they score in an event and the prize money for women is only 30 francs ($29.89) per point,” Sanky said. “It’s a huge discrepancy when you talk about inequity in payment, and that’s another one of the opportunities we have to try and encourage gender equality.”
Sanky said the organization has already dedicated $20,000 this year to help make the sport more equal.
Utah Rivers Council
Founded 24 years ago, the Utah Rivers Council advocates for the protection of rivers, water conservation and the development of sound water policy.
“We spend a lot of time trying to protect important aquatic habitats like the Bear River and the Great Salt Lake,” said Zach Frankel, the council’s executive director. “We work a lot in the Statehouse to engage legislators around embracing sustainable water solutions.”
Frankel, who authored the 1998 Water Conservation Plan Act of Utah, which mandated water suppliers have a conservation plan, said the organization has its work cut out for it, citing the state, the second-driest in the nation, as a constant contender for the title of highest per-capita municipal water use in U.S.
One of the ways the council is trying to get Utahns to shrug off that title is through subsidizing water collection barrels.
The Rivers Council partnered with Summit County and Park City in a program to provide 50 gallon water barrels at $50 per barrel instead of the retail price of $130, which helps reduce water demand by giving people a personal water source to use for their gardens.
Frankel said saving water in barrels also reduces runoff, and improves water quality by keeping it from saturating polluted areas, like when it pools in roads.
Since the program was started – rain barrel collection was legalized in Utah in 2009 – the Rivers Council has sold nearly 4,000 barrels across the Wasatch Front, which Frankel said translated to more than 200,000 gallons of water saved every time it rains enough to fill a 50-gallon drum.
The organization is also looking for low-cost, conservation-minded alternatives to the Bear River development, which would divert a quarter of the river’s water for municipal use, and which the council says would likely go onto people’s lawns instead of into the Great Salt Lake’s wetland ecosystem.
“There’s nothing wrong with using water,” Frankel said. “The question is if we’re going to have balance between how much water people are using and whether we leave water in our rivers and streams for the critters.”
Utah Olympic Park G-Force Program
The G-Force program at the Utah Olympic Park provides introductory instruction for bobsled and skeleton riders.
The programs cover two groups: a development group starting with junior high-school age athletes, and a group for college and college graduate aged athletes with hopes of making the U.S. national team.
Program manager Valerie Flemming said she wants people in the area to be aware of the opportunities the program provides.
“This is here in your backyard and so many people think (the bobsled track) is just for public bobsled rides or if the national team comes, so we’re just trying to get the word out that there’s a development team,” she said.
Track time is subsidized by the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, allowing participants to try the sport at a reduced cost.
“Obviously there’s some fees associated with being on the track, but we couldn’t charge the athletes the fees of what it would be to keep the track going,” Flemming said. “We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars a day to keep the track going. With these kids we’re charging $600 for a season, and that’s including equipment.”
The older group slightly more expensive at $900 per season, but nowhere near what the track charges international teams – $1,500 an hour.
“The sliding fees are barely making a dent into what it really costs to keep the track going and open, but that’s the whole point of the legacy of 2002 and having these facilities stay open,” Flemming said. “We want people out here, we want them sliding.”
Beginners in the program will feel the thrill of the sport right off the bat, accelerating to 45 miles an hour on their first slide.
“You can start at a lower start but there’s only so much we can slow you down,” Flemming said.
She said the organization is always looking for new athletes or participants that want to try something new.
“We’re always wanting to broaden their horizons with a different sport,” Flemming said.