Ski jumpers eye 2018 Games with fundraiser | ParkRecord.com

Ski jumpers eye 2018 Games with fundraiser

Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team

The U.S. Women's Ski Jumping Team made its debut at the Olympic level in 2014 in Sochi, Russia, sending three jumpers to the Games.

Sarah Hendrickson, Jessica Jerome and the now-retired Lindsey Van were part of the first Olympic women's ski jumping competition in history after leading the fight for inclusion for several years.

Now, as the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, quickly approaches, Women's Ski Jumping USA is looking to send another strong contingent of jumpers to the Games with one goal in mind — an Olympic medal.

In order to support the jumpers as they work through the 2017 winter season, Women's Ski Jumping USA is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday, July 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Julie Nester Gallery in Park City.

Nester, whose daughter is a ski jumper with the Fly Girls, donated her gallery to the team for free.

"Being able to have the space there and have them use it is great," she said. "We're really happy to donate it to nonprofits in general, but since my daughter is a ski jumper, it makes it even easier."

Recommended Stories For You

The event at the gallery, located at 1280 Iron Horse Drive, will include appetizers by Fuego, silent and live auctions and drinks. Event volunteer Amy Macuga, whose daughter is also a member of the Fly Girls program for younger ski jumpers, said the Park City community is pitching in to support the team.

"Fuego is stepping up and helping us with the catering," she said. "We have Beehive donating gin. We have Epic [Brewing Company] providing beer and Top Shelf [Services] is providing bar service. The whole community is coming together to support these girls."

For the live and silent auctions, Macuga said even more Park City companies are contributing.

"We have a seven-night stay in Palm Springs, [California], so that'll be nice," she said. "The girls are making some stuff, too. We also have Nike apparel, lift tickets — that kind of stuff."

Macuga said this fundraiser is important for the team, which is entering a big year in terms of positioning athletes for Olympic bids.

"The girls are almost all self-funded," she said. "The jumpers they compete against in Europe, their governments fund a lot of it. Fortunately, the USSA is helping some with the coaching fees, but for the most part, the travel, the fees to compete and all their equipment is on their own."

With the 2018 Olympics just around the corner, Macuga said sending U.S. athletes to as many World Cup competitions as possible is the major goal.

"In order [to qualify], they have to go to all these events in Europe," she said. "If they don't go, they can't compete and they can't qualify."

Macuga said Women's Ski Jumping USA, the organization that funds the jumpers, will honor its founder, Deedee Corradini, at the event. Corradini died last year after battling lung cancer.

"She was the driving force behind the girls getting to the Olympics," Macuga said. "That was her dream and she made that happen. She was clearly the energy behind the whole organization. Now it's time to start gearing up again for these girls."

Macuga said she's confident the Park City community will continue to support the team, as many of the athletes live and train in town.

"Everything centers around Park City," she said. "The girls who are training for the Olympics eventually move to Park City. Our community just knows about the team and knows many of the girls. They're happy to support them."

To purchase tickets to the event, which cost $75 per person or $125 per couple, go to ussa.rallyme.com/rallies/4192/jumpto2018andbeyond, email wsjusainfo@wsjusa.com or call Amy Macuga at 435-962-0916.

Jump to 2018 and Beyond Fundraiser
Date: Thursday, July 28
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Julie Nester Gallery (1280 Iron Horse Drive)
Tickets: $75 per person, $125 per couple
Contact: wsjusainfo@wsjusa.com or 435-962-0916