Friday, February 27, 2009
If you go
What: "TGIF For MS," kick-off benefit for The Heuga Center's 2009 Vertical Express for Multiple Sclerosis
When: 4 to 6 p.m. today
Where: Old Town Pub, Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street
Cost: $10 donation gets "an arm's length" of tickets for prizes; a portion of bar proceeds benefit The Heuga Center
What: 2009 Vertical Express for Multiple Sclerosis
When: Registration opens 7:30 a.m. Sunday; giant slalom races down Sitz and See Me are in the morning, a mountain challenge "poker run" scavenger hunt event is in the afternoon; competitors follow clues to collect envelopes of cards for the poker run, and the best hand at the end of the run wins
Where: Registration in the Round-Up Room at the Steamboat Ski Area
Cost: $1,000 registration fee for a team of three
Call: The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis at 888-364-8467
More information: Entry fee includes a lift ticket, breakfast and lunch on the mountain, entry in all Vertical Express events and a dinner awards ceremony at The Ore House. Teams that raise $15,000 are invited to a national Vertical Express event in Vail from April 16 to 19.
Steamboat Springs The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis' Vertical Express for MS comes to Steamboat Springs this weekend, inviting skiers to slalom race down the mountain, collect clues in a scavenger hunt and raise money for people living with multiple sclerosis.
Founded in 1984 by Jimmie Heuga, The Heuga Center offers programs that focus on maintaining good health while managing multiple sclerosis, a chronic condition that affects the brain and spinal cord, according to a Web site operated by the National Institutes of Health. Symptoms include visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination, numbness or prickling sensations and thinking or memory problems. Severe symptoms can include a loss of ability to write, speak or walk.
Today, co-event directors Bernice Kuca, Terry Kuca and Annie Fundquist host a happy hour fundraiser at Old Town Pub. A $10 donation gets participants a roll of drawing tickets the length of their arm, good for prizes donated by local businesses.
On Sunday, at least five fundraising teams will compete in a giant slalom race down Sitz and See Me and in a "mountain challenge" scavenger hunt at Steamboat Ski Area. Jimmie Heuga will be at the mountain events. Part of the bar proceeds from today's event and fundraising proceeds from Sunday's Vertical Express competitions go to The Heuga Center.
Five teams are registered for the Steamboat event, said Vicki Farinacci, special events manager for The Heuga Center.
"Of course we would love to get more teams; it's not too late to sign up," Farinacci said. Interested teams of three can register in advance online at www.verticalexpress.org or show up at event registration at 7:30 a.m. Sunday in the Round-Up Room in Gondola Square, with the $1,000 required entry fee.
Wes Dearborn said he has raised more than $100,000 for The Heuga Center in 11 years of competing in the Vertical Express. So far this year, his three-person Airborne-Dearborn team has raised more than $14,000 and is just short of making the $15,000 cut-off for a national Vertical Express event in Vail. Teams representing Steamboat raised $83,900 in 2008, Kuca said. The fundraising goal for this year is $75,000.
Money raised in seven Vertical Express events across the country makes up a "big portion" of the money The Heuga Center uses to operate programs in education, nutrition, mental well-being, exercise and life management skills for people living with MS, Kuca said.