Red Ball Express returns to Steamboat Ski Area April 2 | SteamboatToday.com

Red Ball Express returns to Steamboat Ski Area April 2

Red balls roll down the halfpipe Saturday at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area during the Ski Town USA Rotary Club's inaugural Red Ball Express fundraiser.

If You Go..

What: Red Ball Express

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2

Where: Steamboat Ski Area

Tickets: $10

— Look to the slopes Saturday at Steamboat Ski Area for more than 100 giant red exercise balls rolling down the face of Mount Werner.

Ski Town USA Rotary Club will host the second annual Red Ball Express at 3 p.m. Saturday in conjunction with Steamboat's annual Springalicious Festival. Spectators can view the festivities at the Gondola base area and enjoy the Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Bud Light Rocks the Boat Free Concert starting at 3:30 p.m.

"This event really adds some vibrancy and fun to the base area and it literally adds color to the mountain," said Loryn Kasten, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. public relations manager and Rotary member who is serving on the board organizing the event. "People didn't really know what to expect last year, then they saw these massive red balls flowing down the mountain. It's just fun to watch."

Kasten said the red exercise balls will roll down the mountain near the half pipe and go through a series of obstacles until landing in a specially-designed chute to determine the winning ball combinations.

Supporters of the event can buy red ball combinations for the chance to be the first ball in the chute and win a $2,500 cash prize. Second- and third-place finishers have a chance to win $1,000 and $500, respectively.

The Rotary Club has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat Soccer Club, the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association, Routt County Youth Services Coalition, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Boy Scouts Group 194, the Steamboat Springs High School Booster Club and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, and proceeds from the event will benefit the various organizations.

Last year, the event raised about $13,000 for the Rotary Club, Interact Club and the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs.

Five dollars of every ticket sold directly through the nonprofit partners will remain with the club. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from the organizations. Tickets will also be sold by Rotary members in Gondola Square until 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

"It's a great way to raise money, and the tickets are kept at a reasonably low cost," said Celina Taylor, marketing director and fundraising coordinator for the Boys & Girls Club. "It's a creative way to get people excited about donating money and the possibility of winning money."

Taylor said the club will use funds raised by the Red Ball Express for programming aimed at creating healthy lifestyles, character and leadership development in addition to academic awareness. Kids at the local club have been tracking sales, and Taylor said If the club sells $1,000 worth of tickets, the kids will be treated to a root beer float party.

Routt County Youth Services Coalition will use the funds for its upcoming free parenting workshops in Hayden, South Routt and Steamboat Springs, said Kyleigh Lawler, executive coordinator for Routt County Youth Services Coalition, a network of youth advocates and service providers committed to supporting youth and young adults in Routt County.

"Red Ball Express is unique and different than any other fundraiser going on in town," Lawler said. “It's a fantastic fundraiser, because it involves people of all ages, locals or out-of-towners, and it connects the Ski Town Rotary with seven nonprofit agencies. We feel fortunate to participate and think it's a win/win for everyone involved."

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1