Fundraiser for Nordic combined athletes considered a success
December 6, 2011
Steamboat Springs — A group of local Nordic combined athletes who aspire to someday be Olympians inched closer Friday night to raising the money that could help them realize their dreams.
The fundraiser at Ciao Gelato on Yampa Street coincided with the pizza and gelato business's two-year anniversary.
Organizers said $4,300 was raised and will be used to offset costs incurred by the Nordic Combined National Training Group, which is based in Steamboat and grooms athletes for the World Cup team.
"I was thinking $3,000 would be great, so it was a success without a doubt," team member Adam Loomis wrote on his blog. "With the help of a generous community, as well as some of our own contributions, we got together over 35 silent auction items, from equipment, clothing, ski lessons, to concrete pouring."
Loomis works at Ciao Gelato and said he suggested the National Training Group fundraiser "half-jokingly" to his boss, Lynne Romeo.
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"Then the next day Lynne said, 'You know what, why not? Let's do it,'" Loomis wrote.
Nordic combined coach Martin Bayer was traveling with the team to Park City, Utah, on Tuesday evening and said he was surprised by the turnout and the amount of money raised.
"A big, 'Thank you' to Ciao Gelato for providing the food at no cost," Bayer said.
Participating in the sport that combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing at the development level can be expensive, and the development program is not funded like the elite programs.
The National Training Group is based in Steamboat Springs, but many of the competitions take place outside of Steamboat, which means the team has to pay for lodging and other travel expenses. There also are expenses related to wax, equipment and coaching for team members.
Funding for the program that filters athletes to the national team is a constant struggle.
The fundraising effort for the Nordic Combined Pillar Projects General Fund kicked off last month and aims to raise $250,000. After Friday's fundraiser, about $50,000 of that goal has been realized. The group will be raising money through the end of the year at http://www.ncgeneralfund.causevox.com.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com