Rotary Ski Night 2010 was the first time on the mountain for kids, including an after school program from St. Francis House in Odell. The Rotary Club of Hood River and Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort teamed up to present the annual Rotary Ski Night to Oregon outdoor enthusiasts. The goal of the event is to bring the community together in the great outdoors and to raise money to support charitable causes.
Held on a Monday in January, this year’s event fell on January 18 - the holiday in which we honor Martin Luther King Junior. The holiday timing allowed thousands of people to join the event and help raise funds to support student scholarships and other Rotary community services. Monday, more than 2,300 Rotary lift tickets were used on the mountain, a vast increase in participation for the annual event.
The Hood River Rotary club rents the ski area for this fund raising event and lift tickets are sold for ten dollars each. Skiers had unlimited use of the mountain from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., access to a slalom race course and free entertainment in the lodge. Tickets were sold by Hood River Rotarians, Columbia Gorge businesses, Mount Hood Meadows ticket booths and many of the Rotary Clubs that comprise Rotary District 5100. Without strong support from Mount Hood Meadows, an event of this magnitude could not happen.
By offering tickets at a low cost and holding the event on a holiday, more people than ever were able to attend from communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The event drew families, students and community members who might otherwise be working. Numerous first-time skiers and boarders also enjoyed the event.
“Everyone has such a great time at Rotary Ski Night and the best part is, proceeds from this event raise money to support Rotary causes - such as scholarships for graduating seniors, free dictionaries for local school children and numerous other projects,” said Michael Schock, Hood River Rotary Ski chairman. “The idea is to bring everyone together on one special night. Offering lift tickets at a low cost allows more people to join in the fun. We are so thankful that Mount Hood Meadows let us hold Rotary Ski Night on a holiday – this allowed many more people to get involved.”
Photo: Danny, a student from an after school program at St. Francis House in Odell, shows his superb skills on his first run on a snowboard at Rotary Ski Night
-- Barbara Ayers