“My sister and I love collecting donations for High Fives,” said Rubi Murphy, Mad River Valley local. “We’ve met many of the athletes and we are proud to raise money for them.”
Since 2011, the High Fives Foundation has shared the slopes of Sugarbush Resort with skiers and snowboarders for the Annual Fat Ski-A-Thon. Participants ski “fun laps” in wintery New England weather in celebration of the Foundations mission.
“Looking back on the last 10 years of this event, it is amazing to see it grow to this level” said Roy Tuscany, CEO and Founder of High Fives Foundation “This community is so powerful, so strong and so supportive. These funds will continue to support athletes in their recoveries from a life-changing injury, and I am honored to call the Mad River Valley the place where I grew up.”
The Fat Ski-a-Thon started in 2011 as an event for local Vermonters to spend a day skiing on “fat” skis at Sugarbush Resort, but it has transformed into a community event that welcomes all demographics. Accomplished skiers, novice skiers, adaptive skiers and snowboarders are encouraged to join in on the fun. Adaptive skier, 2014 Olympic Ski Jumper and High Fives Athlete #77, Nick Fairall is always excited to participate in the event.
“Following my 2015 spinal cord injury, I have had the pleasure of joining High Fives Foundation on the hill for a couple different occasions,” said High Fives Athlete, Nick Fairall. “Everyone was in such great spirits, and I’m glad I was able to get out and take a few runs at the Fat Ski-A-Thon.”
The Annual Fat Ski-a-Thon transforms Sugarbush’s base-area beyond the normal weekend party. Participants used the Valley House and Super Bravo lifts to ski throughout the day. Ski-A-Thon participants dance in the lift line to Vermont’s DJ Professor, while they fill their pockets with donated snacks from local sponsors like the Village Grocery and Cabot Cheese.
“Sugarbush is electric,” said Jesse Murphy, of Vermont North Ski Shop and Director of Development for High Fives Foundation. “Everyone is always smiling during the event!”