SKIING — The third annual “24 Hours of Schweitzer” has begun at Schweitzer Mountain Resort to challenge skiers and raise money for a good cause.
The event has been moved further into spring for more daylight hours to rack up the vertical for bragging rights and cystinosis research.
The event will wrap up tomorrow for the weary skiers as well as for other supporters with a banquet and auction.
Read on for details.
24 Hours of Schweitzer is a team relay beginning at 8:30 a.m. today, running continuously through 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Participants will ski as many runs as possible in 24 hours for prizes, bragging rights — an a cure for cystinosis, a rare and fatal disease that affects only 500 people nationwide. This all-day and -night fundraiser honors Hank Sturgis of Sandpoint, a 4 year old who has been diagnosed with cystinosis.
Skiers, telemarkers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate as solo racers or as teams of three or four. Following the event is an awards party and auction that is open to the public.
The entry fee is $125 or $100 with a Schweitzer season pass, and includes a lift ticket for non pass holders, event t-shirt, participation award, meals, equipment support, sleeping bag accommodations in Lakeview Lodge, hotel discounts at Selkirk Lodge, and one ticket to the auction/awards party. This year’s event features a new tropical spring theme.
Following the event is a public dinner and auction starting at 5:30 p.m. at Schweitzer.
This unique event moves to a new spring timeslot, making it one of the last times to enjoy Schweitzer Mountain Resort for the season. “We’re excited about our move to the spring. More daylight hours and warmer weather should be a big bonus to the event,” said Brian Sturgis, Hank’s dad and one of the event organizers.
“We welcome young and old, casual or serious participants, and there are many ways to get involved – start a team, join a team, participate for one hour, participate for 24 hours, ski during the day, or ski all night.
“Those that don’t ski or board can pledge a participant, volunteer to help out at the event, attend the auction or even donate an auction item. There really is something for everyone, and every little bit helps in our quest to find a cure for Hank.”
Awards will recognize youngest and oldest participants; the most runs skied by an individual and team, and top fundraiser. Two-time event winner Matt Gillis, who logged a record 196 runs in 24 hours last year, will compete again this year, with a goal to complete 200 runs.
During last year’s event, 125 participants ranging in age from 4 to 68 completed a total of 10,789 runs in 24 hours, totaling 11,968,345 vertical feet or 2,266 miles. The 2010 event raised $75,000, making it one of the most successful Cystinosis community fundraisers in the country.
For more information visit www.24hoursforhank.org.