The Killington Mountain School and Killington Ski Club community came together on Saturday, Feb. 20, for the annual Winter Auction celebration. This year’s theme was World Cup Carnival, in honor of the women’s World Cup races coming to Killington next November for Thanksgiving weekend 2016.
“The theme of this year’s auction is celebrating the World Cup, and it would be an ultimate achievement to someday see one of our own athletes competing at this level,” said Head of School Tao Smith. “We could envision nothing more thrilling than to cheer on a home grown kid (of any discipline) at a future Killington World Cup.”
The evening was a huge success, benefitting from the addition of mobile bidding, allowing people to bid from their cell phones whether they were able to attend or not.
The carnival theme led to the inclusion of four games that guests could purchase tickets to play, winning fun prizes like the coveted World Cup Winter Carnival ski scrapers. Games were facilitated by students, and it was hard to say no to their smiling faces when they asked guests to step up and take a turn on their games.
Food was served “food truck style” at stations throughout the room and the Ben and Jerry’s dessert cart was a popular post-dinner stop.
Head of School Tao Smith found a new calling as an auctioneer, doing a tremendous job getting everyone involved and bidding — he even pulled out a wig, hat, and frighteningly good Donald Trump accent as he auctioned off a golf package at Trump’s course!
This auction supports a healthy KMS, which in turn, directly supports KSC families, and vice versa, Smith continued, explaining that funds from the auction are earmarked for scholarship and financial aid.
“The KSC and KMS support our participants by covering development program fees, travel expenses to national championships and world junior championships, tuition reimbursement, and camp scholarships. Scholarship dollars allow for us to support our highest achieving athletes at the highest levels and to maintain a broad base of participation from as many families as possible. By supporting scholarships, you allow other important funds to be directed toward hiring top quality coaches, providing equipment and training venues necessary to developing young athletes, and continuing the quality and regional leadership of two USSA Gold Club organizations,” Smith told the crowd, Saturday.
By the numbers
Between FY11-FY16, KMS has given in excess of $1 million to support families of the KSC (actual figure $1,017,900), out of a total of $2,193,081 to all families of Killington
We give an average of $170,000 per year to KSC families, and $196,000 to families from
outside the Killington program. These grants cover costs ranging from World Juniors travel expenses, to Nationals, to camp scholarships, to tuition related financial aid.
Over the past six years, the auction has accounted for roughly $360,000 of that $2.2 million total.