Sam Jackenthal fundraiser at O’Shucks
Sam Jackenthal, the 16-year-old freeskier from Park City who was seriously injured while skiing in Australia earlier this month, remains in a coma, but has been moved from the ICU at Canberra General Hospital to a private room, according to Jackenthal’s father, Ron’s, Facebook page.
As the family and doctors continue to wait for news in Australia, financial and emotional support continues to pour in from the Park City community. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, another effort will be made to raise funds for Jackenthal’s medical expenses.
Starting at 6 p.m., O’Shucks Bar & Grill in Pinebrook Quarry Village will host a benefit and auction for Jackenthal, featuring live and silent auctions, food, a cash bar and live music. Former mayor Dana Williams will serve as the emcee of the event. After the success of a candlelight vigil in Willow Creek Park and a rally at Park City Mountain Resort, Sandy Geldhof, one of the event’s organizers, is hoping the benefit and auction will bring the entire community together.
"Everybody wanted to do something really big outside of what’s already been happening with the fundraising," she said. "It’s not only to raise money for the family, but also to bring the community together. Everybody’s been doing stuff in different segments. We want to pull it all together so everyone can be someplace at the same time and raise that energy level."
Geldhof said O’Shucks owner Bruce Corrigan quickly jumped on board.
"That’s the first phone call I got," she said. "He said, ‘Hey, I want to do this. Can we pull together a team?’ I’ve done events like this for a lot of nonprofits through the years. Typically, when you’re going out and asking for auction items, you kind of need a team and a couple months to put it together well. The minute the word hit the street, my phone has not stopped ringing and literally, on Tuesday or Wednesday, I had to filter through 340 emails from people just saying, ‘What can I do? What can I give?’"
Chris "Hatch" Haslock, the director of competitive freeskiing with Team Park City United, said he’s not surprised how much support Jackenthal has received from the community.
"The thing about it is Sam’s just such a unique person," he said. "I honestly cannot picture Sam without a smile. He’s just always having the best time and living life to the fullest. That’s the main thing — if Sam’s around, you know it. Everybody who is around Sam knows Sam — there’s no way not to."
Haslock said the Team Park City United staff and athletes are sending positive thoughts to the Jackenthal family in Australia.
"It’s tough right now, obviously, because it’s such a waiting game," he said. "That’s really hard, but we’re absolutely hoping for the best possible outcome. Everybody’s praying and sending as much support as we can that way."
He added that the Jackenthals will make a virtual appearance at Wednesday’s fundraiser.
"We’re going to FaceTime in the Jackenthals so they can be a part of it," he said. "At both the vigil and the rally we did at Park City, we FaceTimed them in and it gave them a tremendous amount of support. It’s keeping them connected."
Geldhof said the Jackenthals have also asked that anyone with stories about Sam email them to firstname.lastname@example.org . She said she’s been overwhelmed by the stories she’s received so far.
"The emails I’m reading, I’m in tears all day because they’re so awesome," she said. "He’s pretty special."
To RSVP to the benefit and auction, or to contribute stories about Jackenthal, email email@example.com.
WHAT: #lightforsam Benefit and Auction
WHERE: O’Shucks and The Grill at Pinebrook Quarry Village
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $25 for adults, $15 for kids
Quincey Cummings and Mitchell Andrus, two Parkites, turned their experience in sailing and hospitality into an adventure travel business, which as an adventure of its own.