Birgitta Lindgren admits that the idea of hosting a cross-country skiing benefit wasn't hers, but she gladly took the concept from a friend and turned it into a Steamboat Springs tradition.
The fifth annual Colorado Ski For Women begins at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Like the previous four years, Ski for Women is an event to raise money and awareness for Advocates Against Battering and Abuse.
"When I came into Advocates with the idea, they didn't want to turn me down, but I don't think they thought it would generate the amount it does," Lindgren said. "The first year we had over 50 people. Then I think they got a little excited."
The Colorado Ski For Women is designed to be a fun, festive fundraiser for Advocates. There is no registration fee. The Touring Center happily will accept donations, and those who donate $20 or more will receive a gift bag and a pair of SmartWool socks.
Early registration is at Starbucks, which is donating money for every person who registers at one of its stores.
"It's a great cause," Lindgren said. "It's a fun day. People come out and enjoy it. We encourage people to come with a partner. After they ski, they can come in and grab lunch. After lunch, we have a prize drawing and there is a silent auction."
Two items up for bid this year are Todd Lodwick's 2002 Olympic jacket and a handmade quilt made specifically for Sunday's event.
"We want to make sure people understand it is not a race," Lindgren said. "It is not timed. It is an event. People can ski or snowshoe at their own speed."
The course is 5 kilometers long, and men are welcome, too. A longer course will be set up, as well.
This year's theme is Winter Masquerade, and people are encouraged to dress in themed attire. The winner of the best costume contest will receive a 2006-07 season pass to the Touring Center. The best-dressed family will receive a family pass for next season.
"I have a very good friend that started this idea in Anchorage, Alaska," Lindgren said. "I wanted to do something for the community, and she said, 'Why don't you start one in Colorado?'
"They raise $100,000 every year for their Advocates program. We are working on that"
For more information, call 879-2034. Event-day registration is from 9 a.m. to noon at the Touring Center, 2000 Clubhouse Drive.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org