High Fives 5th Annual FAT Ski-a-thon Raises Over $150k
Photo Credit: High Fives Foundation / Weston Walker
The High Fives Foundation, which gives grants to mountain athletes with major injuries, raised $150,000 at its fifth annual Fat Ski-A-Thon at Sugarbush Resort recently—a record fundraising amount! Some 175 skiers and riders contributed to a day of celebration and style.
Skiers and riders from the Mad River Valley and beyond aimed to get as many vertical feet as possible, and the first team to ski 50,000 vertical feet received a $5,000 fundraising donation from the mobile app Snocru. That team was Kevin Wry, Jack Cronin, and Sam Gerdeman. Another successful team was Mae Murphy (age 10) and Rubi Murphy (age 11), who raised nearly $21,000. An anonymous donator contributed a matching $5,000, which encouraged others to donate.
The event transformed Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen chairlift and lodge beyond the normal weekend party. Ski-A-Thoners danced in the lift line to Vermont’s DJ Professor. They filled their pockets with donated snacks from local sponsors such as The Village Grocery, Liz Lovely and Cabot cheese, and the Localfolk Smokehouse.
Roy Tuscany, executive director of High Fives Foundation, was psyched about the fundraising effort.
“This was the best year in the history of the Fat Ski-A-Thon, we were able to put together an incredible community of folks to ski together for the Foundation,” Tuscany said. “Our partners VT North Ski Shop, Sugarbush, Local Folk Smokehouse, and GoPro allowed us to host a successful event with over 175 participants."
That money will go a long way to helping athletes who have been injured in mountain sports, such as skiers who have been caught in an avalanche, or kayakers who had paddling accidents. In 2015, High Fives dispersed $339,000 in grants, and since 2009, the organization has helped nearly 100 athletes return to the sport they love after an injury.
By Sky Barsch. Sky is a writer and editor in Montpelier, Vt. Her passions are mountains, trails, traveling and food, plus her adorable powderhound, Siena.