Hit the slopes to fight cancer

March 4 - Silver Star Mountain Resort

You may never have the opportunity to climb Mount Everest, but an upcoming fundraiser invites you to ski or board the vertical height of the legendary peak.

The second annual Slopes for Hope March 4 at Silver Star Mountain Resort is a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society that invites those who love the snow to ski or snowboard the vertical height of Mount Everest in one day — 29,029 feet.

“This marvellous event is a family-friendly ski-a-thon where people can sign up as individuals for a personal challenge, or in teams and split the distance between team members,” said Slopes for Hope chairman Christian Ouellette. “The goal is to ski Mount Everest, which is 19 runs on the Comet, so as a team it’s really easy, with each of you doing four runs.”

Funds raised through Slopes for Hope support the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Slopes for Hope is open to snowboarders and both alpine and Nordic skiers. Participants can sign up as individuals for a personal challenge, or in teams and split the distance between team members. There is no cost to register, but the minimum donation to participate is $25 for adults and $10 youth, and there are prizes for fundraising, vertical distance and costumes.

“If you enter as an individual and raise a minimum of $100 — or $50 for youth — Silver Star donates a day’s ski pass and a $15 beer and burger voucher for the Red Antler,” said Ouellette. “If a team has a minimum of $500 in funds raised, Silver Star donates four lift passes and everyone will get the voucher for the Red Antler.”

Participants will attempt to ski/snowboard 29,029 vertical feet between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. They will have access to the Comet Express and it is their responsibility to check in with the volunteer to track their runs before every entry onto the chair lift. At the end of the event the organizers will calculate the total vertical distance travelled for each Slopes for Hope participant.

Participants are encouraged to ski within their ability and may take any number of blue or green runs to accomplish their vertical distance goal.

“The fun also includes a 50/50, raffle prizes and prizes for best costume and the chance to win the Golden Boot Trophy for the team that raises the most funds and completes the most vertical,” said Ouellette. “The winners last year were the KPMG team, and they are currently holding that trophy in their hands right now.”

A number of local businesses have committed to donating prizes in each category, and Ouellette said this year’s fundraising goal is $5,000.

“But we’re going to exceed that by tons,” he said, adding that Great West Equipment, where he is inside sales manager, has already agreed to match donations up to $2,000.

Sign up as an individual for a personal challenge, or put in a team of four and split the distance between team members. Come up with a team name, wear costumes, and challenge your friends, family or coworkers. There will be an après-event with entertainment and prizes awarded at the end of the day, including the Sir Edmund Hillary Award for the skier or boarder — both youth and adult — who racks up the most vertical distance.

To register online, visit www.slopesforhope.ca or stop by the Canadian Cancer Society’s Vernon branch at #104, 3402-27th Ave., in the People Place.

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