Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Recognized with “Friend of Children” Award

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At the May 22nd Cascade School Board meeting, Superintendent Tracey Edou recognized Leavenworth Winter Sports Club (LWSC) with a “Friend of Children Award” from the North Central Educational Service District for LWSC’s service and commitment to students, and most notably, their Afterschool Ski and Snowboard Program. Callie Baker, LWSC Director of Marketing and Guest Relations, was in attendance to receive the award.

The program runs for 6-8 weeks, depending on the snow, every winter, and enables over 50  3rd through 8th graders a chance to experience snow sports at Ski Hill at no cost. Lessons, equipment, passes and transportation are included. A beneficial change occurred during the pandemic allowing the students to check the equipment out for the whole season with a season pass.

Funding comes from many sources. Brett Johnson, CSD Special Education Director and organizer of the Afterschool Ski and Snowboard Program, explained some of the recent ones. “We secured a huge Cascade Education Foundation grant in January 2022 that allowed us to get all new equipment for the program. The PTO for Alpine Lakes and Peshastin Dryden Elementaries paid for new helmets.

“Lib-Tech/GNU donated six snowboards with bindings since we needed some additional ones that were the appropriate size. This was thanks to one of our parents who works for Lib-Tech. NW Foundation for Youth Provided us with a $900 grant this year that covered operating expenses, and paid for an end of the year pizza party for students on our last Wednesday.”

Baker added, “Funds from the LWSC Sponsor A Skier fund cover some of the passes for the students and coaches and LWSC donates the remainder. When anyone buys an LWSC season pass, there is a donation option that allows the donor to choose where the donation lands; Sponsor A Skier is one of the options. Nearly $2500 landed in that bucket from 22/23 season pass sales.” The Sponsor A Skier program can also cover the costs of skiers who want to participate in the Junior Nordic or Downhill Ski teams, or skiers who have special needs, including members of Icicle Trackers.

The partnership and mission alignment are strong between CSD and LWSC. “The Board of Directors and our General Manager are on board with getting all of the youth in our community outside and on skis if they want to be,” said Baker.

“The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club rocks,” added Johnson. “Between their efforts on this program, their support of the Discovery School students skiing at the Icicle River Trail, and the grooming of the tracks at our school buildings, our kids are out on the snow multiple times each year learning the freedom of the snow and hills, and how to glide in style!”

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