Stage now set for Scholarship Day

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— Last year, deep powder and great skiing weather helped the Steamboat Ski Area rake in $31,110 from ticket proceeds on Scholarship Day.

It's one of the biggest fund-raising days of the year for the club and while last year's totals were great, this year executive director Rick DeVos said he can't help but be a little nervous.

The lack of snow and cold temperatures forced the ski area to postpone opening day by more than a week. Since then, winter storms have dumped several feet of snow on the slopes, but DeVos said the timing of the ski area's opening still might reduce the number of skiers who come out to support the club this year.

Scholarship Day will take place this Friday at the Steamboat Ski Area. Cost to ski on that day will be $15 and passes will not be honored.

"It was supposed to have happened the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but things just didn't work out," DeVos said.

He is afraid that the throngs of schoolchildren, who are normally out of school on Scholarship Day, will not be able to come out and take advantage of the discounted tickets that money is then donated to the club.

"They are going to be back in class," DeVos said. "I think it will hurt us a little this year."

Since the kids will be in school, DeVos said he is hoping the adult population of Steamboat Springs will come out in force and pick up a little bit of the slack.

The good news is that DeVos and the ski area will have at least a couple of things going for them. It will be the first day of the season and the skiing conditions are expected to be great after this week's snow.

If the conditions are not enough to get locals on the slopes, DeVos said, maybe the $15 lift tickets will be.

Scholarship Day, which began back in the early 1980s, raises an average of $23,000. During the past 10 years, the ski area has given a total of $238,000 specifically for the fund.

Revenue from Scholarship Day benefits the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Scholarship Fund. This fund provides financial support for deserving local kids participating in club programs.

The fund is also supported by money raised from the Moose is Loose golf tournament, which is held in September.

DeVos said a little bit of money is held back each year in case opening day fails to draw big crowds. However, it isn't enough to sustain the scholarship program at the club.

DeVos said the fact that Scholarship Day takes place is due to the generosity of the ski area.

"One of the main goals of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is to ensure that every child who had the desire to participate is given that opportunity," DeVos said. "The money raised from the Steamboat Ski Area's Scholarship Day will go a long way in helping us reach that goal as well as touch as many families in Routt County as possible. In addition to Scholarship Day, the ski area has strongly supported the club for years and we deeply appreciate their continued commitment."

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