Our View: Celebrating a Steamboat tradition
November 26, 2013
On Wednesday, Steamboat Springs area residents will be hitting the slopes for the first day of the 2013-14 ski season and enjoying more than 630 acres of open terrain while donating to a local organization that exemplifies the spirit of the community.
Since 1974, Steamboat Ski Area has dedicated the first day of the ski season to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Skiers and snowboarders have the opportunity to purchase a discounted, one-day ticket that gets them out on the snow a day before the ski area's traditional Opening Day on Thanksgiving, and 100 percent of the ticket sales benefit the club.
This almost 4-decades old tradition has generated more than $760,000 for the club's scholarship fund thanks to the generosity of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. The money is used to assist Routt County families with the cost of athlete programming fees so their children have the opportunity to participate in one of the country's oldest and most celebrated ski clubs.
The Winter Sports Club is a community institution that is celebrating its 100th year in 2014. Since its inception, the club has produced 97 Olympians who have made 135 Olympic appearances. Each year, about 1,000 young athletes participate in winter sports programs, and to date, more than 20,000 kids have benefited from the program.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today supports the Winter Sports Club and its legacy of producing Olympic athletes, and even more importantly, the role the club has played in enriching the lives of thousands of young people through the opportunity to train and compete as a team.
Participation in the Winter Sports Club teaches children life lessons beyond the skills they hone on the slopes of Howelsen Hill. These young athletes learn about discipline, teamwork and dedication; they learn how to win and how to lose; and they experience the benefits of setting goals and working hard to achieve them.
The reach of the Winter Sports Club goes far beyond the athletes. Throughout the years, the club also has served to bring together the community through annual fundraising events, including Winter Carnival, which celebrated 100 years last season, the annual Ski Swap and Wednesday's Scholarship Day. These events are celebrations giving residents the opportunity to participate in an organization that has impacted so many lives during the past century and is a vital part of Ski Town USA's rich history.
The club also brings national and international recognition to Steamboat through its Olympics tradition, drawing attention to the area's world-class skiing and driving tourism.
We think Scholarship Day is a truly joyful way to support a Steamboat Springs institution that has played such a key role in defining who we are as a community. It's also a fantastic way to mark the start of the 2013-14 ski season and the 100th birthday of the Winter Sports Club.