Red and Black Jack excelled at Slopes For Hope fundraising

Photo by Lawrence Wright
Photo by Lawrence Wright

The Rossland version of the Mount Everest challenge, hosted at Red Mountain Ski Resort and Black Jack Ski Club Feb. 19, exceeded its $25,000 goal with a whopping $36,500 contributed to the total -- over $100,000 -- raised for the Canadian Cancer Society by the six participating locations across the province.

The family friendly ski-a-thon encouraged participants to gather a team and attempt to ski/board or trek the vertical distance of Mount Everest in one day (29,029 feet of vertical or a 9 km cross-country ski).

"This event is tailor-made for the Kootenays," according to Dario Cescon, who co-chaired the fifth-annual Rossland event with Kim Mercer. "Our outdoor lifestyle and passion for skiing is only surpassed by our drive to do well for others. It's such a fun day, and we absolutely love being part of this effort!"

The volunteer-led event is only as good as its organizing committee, the two concur, and could not have been possible without the 100 or more participants who signed up and raised funds and awareness by taking the challenge and asking friends and family to get behind their efforts.

"We are very fortunate to have a fantastic group of volunteers," Dario adds. "Everyone puts their heart and soul into ensuring it's a fun day for all.

"A special thank you to our business community whose support is boundless and makes it possible for us to put on such a great event!"

Signature sponsor Kootenay Savings Credit Union has been a long-time Society sponsor and cancer-fighting champion since the old Relay For Life days at Haley Park.

"Kootenay Savings takes pride in supporting community events such as Slopes for Hope, which offers participants many avenues to rally around team and community spirit," says Nancy Crockett, VP Sales & Member Experience.

"Slopes for Hope raises dollars that go directly to fund research, cancer prevention initiatives and support programs," she adds. "As many of our employees and their families have been affected by cancer, this is a cause we hold near and dear to our hearts."

The committee also gives special mention to major in-kind sponsors:  Black Press, EZ Rock, The Goat and Pacific Coastal, not to mention the many other businesses that provided a donation or contributed in-kind to the cause.

Money raised through Slopes for Hope supports a variety of Canadian Cancer Society initiatives and support programs, which are accessed by West Kootenay residents.

In the Southern Interior Region in 2015-16, the Canadian Cancer Society helped:

* 210 individuals with financial assistance for travel and accommodation during treatment

* 1,352 individuals with convenient, affordable accommodation in our Southern Interior Rotary Lodge

* 775 individuals accessed up-to-date information about cancer and local services through Cancer Information Service

* 112 individuals found emotional assistance from trained cancer survivors through our CancerConnection program

*  42 children and youth felt empowered through a fun recreational camp (Camp Goodtimes) Funds raised through the Canadian Cancer Society also support excellence in research projects, including one led by B.C.'s Dr. Rachel Murphy, who is studying the links between nutrition, body weight, and cancer to find ways to promote healthy lifestyles among Canadians. Because the Society knows about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight, Dr. Murphy's study has application to many different types of cancers.

"There were some participants who used the event as a means to remember or honour a loved one and with that brought on a special meaning," adds Valerie Rossi, Annual Giving Coordinator. " It was a pleasure to work with  a great group of volunteers and celebrate the day with such a giving and supportive community of people."