After a three-year hiatus, Donation Day (a $25 donation gets you on the lifts for the first skiing of the season) is back.
It takes place the day before the official ski season begins, and 100 percent of the proceeds from lift-ticket sales is donated to the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club.
“The reason we reinstated the Donation Day was due to the extraordinary contribution the TSSC provided to the operation of the World Cup last December,” said Telluride Ski and Golf CEO Dave Riley, referring to TSSC’s key role in last winter’s Telluride-hosted World Cup snowboarding event, coordinating a massive volunteer effort.
“We were internally talking about it recently, and determined that without the TSSC volunteer effort, the World Cup would not be possible in Telluride,” said Riley. “We want to recognize and reward their great work and contribution towards this event.”
The return of this big-ticket fundraiser couldn’t have come at a better time for the local ski and snowboard program.
According to TSSC Director Justin Chandler, the local nonprofit youth program is seeing a rapidly mounting need for financial assistance for members – and, at the same time, is seeing significant decreases in funding. The club is experiencing an increase in program enrollment, alongside a decrease in the amount of dues that can be collected from its membership, due to family financial constraints.
Despite TSSC’s double whammy of a shrinking budget and growing enrollment, the club has granted more financial assistance than ever, and will be assisting at least 60 athletes this season, to the tune of $35,000-$40,000, with scholarships.
“This has put a lot pressure on our budget – and also increased pressure on reaching our most important goal: Making TSSC accessible to all children who wish to join, regardless of their families’ financial situation,” Chandler says. He adds, however, that “even with this financial pressure, we have not turned away a single child who has shown the desire and dedication to join our club because they could not afford it.”
All of which makes Donation Day especially important for the club this year.
“We would really love to see the entire community come out for some skiing on Wednesday, with 100 percent of their $25 ticket purchase going directly to TSSC,” Chandler reiterates.
The Chondola (1) and Village Express (4) will operate from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for Donation Day, with no access from the top of the gondola. Tickets are $25 each (for season passholders and non-passholders alike), and can be purchased at the Heritage Plaza ticket office; children 5 and under ski free. The Telluride Ski and Snowboard School will be open, and the Mountain Village Hop Garden. Free hot chocolate, coffee and donuts will be served by TSSC members at the Mountain Village Gondola Station, all day.
The snow report and daily grooming report will be available at www.tellurideskiresort.com.
For more information visit www.tellurideskiresort.com or contact the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club directly at 970-728-6163.