Perhaps you know about the annual XC Ski with the Blind program put on each Spring by the Teacup Chapter, US Forest Service, the Columbia Gorge Chapter, and led by Richard Fay, our 2016 John Day Award winner. If you don’t you can learn more about this amazing program here. Well, this year we had some bad news for the future of this program, but that has now changed to good news. We’ll let Richard Fay share the new developments:
As noted in the 2016 XC Ski recap, the Mountain Tracks XC ski shop, Government Camp, is going out of business. As you all know, since the inception of the WSSB XC ski program in 2009, Shelly Hakanson, tri-organizer of the program, has worked with the Mountain Tracks who has provided the WSSB students & faculty free XC skis, boots and poles for the WSSB XC ski event. Since the announcement, Shelley and others have been working on a replacement.Now the great news! Through Shelley Hakanson’s diligent efforts, she has secured replacement ski shops for next years 2017 WSSB XC ski event: Mountain Sports in Welches and Otto’s Ski Shop in Sandy have both stepped forward to supply the gear for the WSSB students and faculty next year!
Shelley and I appreciate that several of you may have received or looked into other contacts for possibilities for XC ski gear. This only adds to the total gratitude and support we have in the XC ski community. At this time, Shelley has secured WSSB XC ski equipment for 2017 from the two shops noted above. This is do to Shelley’s personal involvement in the XC and Backcountry ski community contacts. The shops are also both close to where Shelley lives and on the way to Mt. Hood, Government Camp and Teacup Nordic. This makes it very convenient for picking the gear up (with help from the Zigzag Ranger District personnel) and especially coordinating with the shops for the many changes that sometimes come up with WSSB kids schedules, new people wanting to go… just makes it easier for Shelley and any volunteers who help her to be so close to the shops.
Shelley believes Mountains Sports will handle the majority of gear sets and then be supported by Ottos. Keeping the gear separated and returned to the right shop will be a ‘FUN’ task but Shelley believes very doable.
Shelley and we other organizers are glad we can go into summer having firm decisions on skis, boots and poles. We hope this works for everyone. Shelley really appreciates others jumping in and checking on the others shops. Perhaps those shops might want to participate in other ways… financial support…free socks…raffle items (ie. kids earn so many tickets for skiing, for helping, for trying something new… then they get to enter those tickets in a raffle for some gear like water bottles, carabiners, sunscreen etc…that the shops donate!)”
Shelley will continue to follow-up with Mountain Sports and Ottos to insure a smooth transition. We all look forward to everyone volunteering for 2017! Have a safe spring, summer and autumn. We all look forward to early autumn snows through March 2017.
Many thanks to Richard, Shelley, and all the other volunteers, organizations, and businesses that keep this important and vital program humming along. There’s always room for others to join in the fun and incredible satisfaction of this program too. Just contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can share in the experience. And think about supporting these shops when you have the chance, it’s called putting your money where your heart is.
Finally, as Richard always signs off with an Irish salute… Slainte & Slainte Chugat!