Over the weekend Taos Ski Valley helped us Shred The Love for our 5th annual winter event together! The action-packed day raised nearly $25,000 for B4BC’s prevention, education, and support programs, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting regional non-profit, the Anita Salas Memorial Fund, which provides financial assistance for breast cancer services in New Mexico.
The night before the big day B4BC had the honor of attending Rhoda Blake’s Memorial Service with over 500 Taos locals paying tribute. Rhoda & her husband Ernie started Taos Ski Valley in 1955. It was a beautiful ceremony honoring a true ski pioneer and from what we heard via one of Rhoda’s granddaughters, Rhoda was an “all around bad-ass” until the day she passed. It was such a honor learning about this adventurous woman and come to find out that she had battled breast cancer in the 1960s. Rhoda passed away at the age of 97 this past November following a brief illness. Taos Ski Valley would not exist today if it weren’t for this amazing spirit.
On Saturday, the day kicked off on the hill with the K2 Bumps Challenge, a fun yet difficult 4-hour mogul marathon down Taos’s famous “Al’s Run”. Athletes needed to fundraise a minimum of $150 to participate, but the amazing crew of people who came out to support went above and beyond that with their fundraising efforts.
Our top (3) fundraisers this year were:
- Gail Kennedy – $4,974
- Michael Wagener – $1,420
- Matthew Gorman – $1,190
Our top Fundraising team was “2 Dudes For Boobs” made up of Jon Groves and Gary Moya, who collectively fundraised $1,754.
Gail Kennedy and Tucker Van Ormer completed the most laps down Al’s Run. Gail with (19) and Tucker with (20) and they each got a sweet new pair of K2 skis! Michael Wagener also completed (20) runs, but was narrowly beaten in regards to time by Tucker. All of the participants completed anywhere from 25,000 – 33,000 feet of vertical on the day, which takes a tremendous amount of athleticism & endurance!
As you can see, all of the participants kept things fun and light hearted on the hill by racing in epic costumes! We had an energizer bunny, a “baller”, Harry Potter witches, pirates, pink tuxes, 80s garb, tutus, and so much more. But this year’s costume winners went to the Katalevsky Family who skied as a team of minions!
Once the lifts closed we took the fun inside for the Paint for Peaks: Snowboard Art Exhibit and Auction, where 22 renowned local artists created one-of-a-kind custom artwork on up-cycled K2 snowboards. The result was an eclectic and incredible display of art benefiting the cause!
B4BC would like to thank Taos Ski Valley and K2 for all of your incredible efforts in helping make this event such a huge success each year. Many thanks to TSV’s Kaela Gillum, K2’s Ross Welkie, and to Diane Dacamara from Anita Salas Memorial Fund for all that you do!
Thank you to the amazing fundraisers, donors, volunteers, and to all of the unbelievably talented contributing artists: George Chacon, Mary Dolph Wood, Addie Dore, Leigh Gusterson, Dennis Harroun, Jisk27, Jim Keffer, Caitlin Legere, Read Lockhart, Ira Lujan, Toni Martin, Peggy McGivern, Jonell Mills, Nicholas Montano, Greg Moon, Toby Morfin, Janet O’Neal, Scripture, Dan Vigil, Jim Wagner, A.C. Ward, and Dylan Zinn.
Our greatest appreciation and thanks to you all for helping Boarding For Breast Cancer and Anita Salas Memorial Fund further our impact!