Annual Ski for Women fundraiser is for men, too

Event a fundraiser for Advocates programs

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If you go

What: Ninth annual Colorado Ski for Women, benefiting Advocates Building Peaceful Communities

When: Sunday; registration at 9:30 a.m., race at 11:30 a.m., recreational event at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Steamboat Ski Touring Center, 2000 Clubhouse Drive

Cost: Donations of any size accepted; donors of $20 or more receive a prize bag

Call: 879-2034

— Proceeds from a day of skiing, snowshoeing and costume showcasing Sunday will help a local organization educate local teens and adults about domestic and sexual violence.

Advocates Building Peaceful Communities and the Steam­boat Ski Touring Center host the ninth annual Colorado Ski for Women at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ski Touring Center. The informal cross-country ski and snowshoe event is a fundraiser for Advocates.

The event includes an “Alice in Winterland” theme, a performance by local rock band Sundog, lunch, coffee and hot chocolate, door prizes, a silent auction and a live radio broadcast by Jack FM 95.5. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and is open to those who donate any amount.

Advocates founder and director Diane Moore said event organizers are promoting a “men ski for women, too” message this year, and hope to encourage men to “not only support the fundraiser and come have a good time, but to be part of the community in terms of working toward making the home a safe place.”

As part of a 15-month project to prevent domestic and sexual violence among teenagers, proceeds from Sunday’s events will help support a peer-education program between Routt County high school students and seventh-graders. During the program, high school students receive training about issues including harassment, bullying and dating violence, Moore said. They’ll visit seventh-grade classrooms to talk about topics including peer pressure, relationships and self-esteem, Moore said.

Those sessions culminate with a planned one-day Outward Bound excursion for local seventh-graders at the beginning of May. A grant from the Women’s Foundation of Colorado covers the Outward Bound cost for girls; proceeds from Ski for Women will help cover the cost for boys, Moore said.

Additional proceeds will fund a safe exchange and visitation program for children to visit parents in situations where supervision might be required, Moore said.

Ski for Women started when Ski Touring Center owner and operator Birgitta Lindgren suggested organizing an Advocates fundraiser based on an event a friend of hers organizes in Alaska. Drawing about 75 participants its first year, the event has grown ever since, Lindgren said.

New to the event this year, Lindgren organized an 11:30 a.m. time trial for advanced skiers and snowshoers who are looking to push themselves. The main set-your-own-pace event is at 12:30 p.m.

Lindgren encourages participants to come in costume, and she will give away two Ski Touring Center season passes to the racers with the best outfits. Her staff still is working on its “Alice in Winterland” wardrobes, she said.

Last year’s event raised about $6,000 in individual donations, silent auction proceeds and sponsor donations, Moore said. The event usually attracts about 150 people, and organizers are hoping for a crowd of about 200 Sunday, Lindgren said.

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