By Katy Savage
The Killington World Cup Committee has given 17 ski organizations across seven Northeastern states grants to expand youth skiing and riding.
Local ski foundations and organizations received a total of $207,000 from the KWCC’s first grant awards.
The KWCC formed last year. It raises money by selling VIP packages for the World Cup–set to return to Killington for its third year Nov. 24-25.
About 24 organizations applied to the 1-2 year grants, which ranged in size from $3,000 to $50,000 this year.
“The goal is to get more kids on snow,” said KWCC Director Lynn Boynton. “We’re helping a wide variety of organizations pay it forward for all these kids.”
The grant supports competition, training and infrastructure needs.
The Woodstock Ski Runners in South Pomfret received a five-year $25,000 grant to support youth in its Friday Program, said Woodstock Ski Runners President Stephen Hambsch.
The Friday Program allows any child, age 6-19, the ability to ski and snowboard Friday afternoons at Suicide Six for $85 a season.
About 300 students from 14 area schools participate, said Hambsch.
Ski Runners also provides 40 scholarships each year to students who can’t afford to rent their own equipment.
“The intent is to try to develop new skiers,” said Hambsch. “They’re the future of our sport.”
The Pico Ski Education Foundation in Rutland received a $25,000 grant to widen a race trail and blast out a cliff.
The grant money will help make the trail “friendlier,” said Peggy Shinn, who wrote the grant for the Pico Ski Foundation.
“The top of the race trail is super steep and doesn’t hold snow. It will give us more hill space,” she added.
The Killington Ski Club also received a $25,000 grant from the KWCC to improve safety on the Highline Trail–the primary venue for freestyle competitions and races.
“Safety is a big factor in terms of races and events being held these days,” said Bryan Hopkins of the Killington Ski Club.
Other grant recipients, including the Magic Mountain Alpine Club, received money to purchase race bibs. Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond was awarded a grant for more efficient snowmaking equipment. Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield was awarded a grant to fund terrain expansion. Kelly Brush Foundation in Burlington and Middlebury Ski Club and Stride Foundation for Female Athletes in Middlebury, also received grants.
The KWCC is still selling VIP packages for this year’s race. The packages range in cost from $5,000 to $50,000.
Tickets include swag, access to music venue and a VIP party.
The higher priced packages include housing and the opportunity to watch the race from the start.