Every year, the High Fives Foundation holds a series of three charity ski-a-thons to raise money to support the nonprofit: the Fat Ski-a-Thon at Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, the Mothership Classic at Squaw Valley Resort in California, and the Retro Ski-a-Thon at Copper Mountain in Colorado. The ski-a-thons contribute over $300,000 to the foundation’s annual budget and have become an important staple for the nonprofit and its community.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s series will be hybrid-virtual with limited in-person capacity and no restaurant week component in order to keep participants safe and comply with CDC health and safety guidelines. The Foundation will continue to monitor and assess the safety of event organization as the ski season progresses.
The 10th annual Fat Ski-a-Thon presented by Vermont North Ski Shop will kick off the series at Sugarbush Resort on Sunday, February 28, 2021. As with all the High Fives Foundation Ski-a-Thons, participants raise money before the Fat Ski-a-Thon to establish how many ski or snowboard runs they take during the event at Sugarbush. Depending on the money raised and the laps run on the day of the event, participating individuals or teams will be put in a raffle to win prize packages.
The Fat Ski-a-Thon has a long history with the High Fives Foundation. Not only is Sugarbush Resort the founder’s home mountain, but the Fat Ski-a-Thon has become the highest-grossing event in the series. Originally organized in 2012 at Sugarbush Resort with 35 participants, the Fat Ski-a-Thon has since grown to host over 200 participants and raise over $200,000. The foundation’s goal for 2021 is to raise $250,000 to go towards their efforts in supporting adaptive athletes.
“The first year, it was blowing ice pellets, cold, windy, with downright East Coast conditions, but it also established our core supporters of this event," says Roy Tuscany, CEO of High Fives Foundation who is originally from the Mad River Valley. "To celebrate 10 years is mind-blowing, to be honest. I really hope we can be in-person but understand if it needs to be done in a virtual fashion because we know that our community will continue to show up and support the mission of the Foundation.”
While the ski-a-thons will look a little different this year due to the pandemic, they continue to be events that bring the High Fives community together and support a worthy cause. Skiers and snowboarders wishing to participate and brands that wish to sponsor a ski-a-thon or donate prizes can register and sign up at http://www.fatski.highfivesfoundation.org/.