Ski club teams with Horizons

Chicago group raises funds annually for local organizations

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— When Horizons Development Coordinator Kay Borvansky heard the Chicago Metropolitan Ski Council wanted to do a fund-raiser with her organization last fall, she thought it was the perfect fit.

As a former Chicago resident and ski club member, Borvansky was familiar with the organization and knew there were many other Chicago transplants that would be as well.

And that's part of the reason Horizons and the Chicago Ski Club will be inviting the Steamboat community to join them March 25 for their Mardi Gras-themed fund-raiser.

"I happen to know a lot of people living here in Steamboat that decided to move out here from Chicago. And I'd really like to encourage those people to come to the party. They may even run into some old friends," Borvansky said.

On March 25, almost 250 skiers from Chicago are expected to travel from six downtown restaurants as part of the Horizons fund-raiser. And local Steamboat residents, with or without Chicago roots, are welcome to join, Borvansky said.

For $5, locals and Chicago skiers can buy special Chicago Week Mardi Gras Night mugs that will give holders special drink prices. Proceeds from the mug sale will go to Horizons, along with money raised through the sale of raffle tickets, a silent auction and other smaller fund-raisers during racing events on the mountain.

Horizons, a nonprofit organization for the developmentally disabled, has to depend on fund-raising for a portion of its operating budget. And Borvansky said the money the ski club will donate is definitely needed.

"It's an honor to be the beneficiaries for this event and certainly this is an opportunity to raise our income," Borvansky said.

Like other ski councils across the country, the Chicago club, which acts as an umbrella organization for almost 90 smaller clubs in the Midwest, raises money for local organizations with the ski resort they visit on their annual winter trip.

"We just choose to give something back to the place that we are visiting and get local people involved," trip coordinator Terry Finnerty said.

Last year was the first time the club donated to a local charity and was surprised by the $2,500 it raised for Challenge Aspen, an organization that works with the disabled.

Like the time spent with skiers from Challenge Aspen, Borvansky is hoping to set up a day where Horizon clients can ski with the Chicago club.

To participate in the Mardi Gras night, locals can purchase mugs from Horizons at Fourth and Oak streets anytime until March 25.

The Mardi Gras party will start at 7 p.m. at the Steamboat Yacht Club and continue onto the Double Z Bar and Barbeque, Mazzola's, Steamboat Brewery, Old Town Pub and the Tap House.

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