Many athletes were picking up their first set of equipment, while others spoke enthusiastically of returning to a sport they've come to love. Skier or snowboarder, new or returning, the common denominator for all kids in attendance was sheer excitement for the season ahead and hands full of equipment, generously donated by both stores.
AVSC's Base Camp program is an incredibly unique program for a ski club. Very few competitive ski clubs have a recreational component, and no other club in the nation has a recreational program that compares in size to Base Camp, which this year consists of 1,600 athletes from age 3.5 to grade 12.
Even more rare is the ability to provide financial assistance to children in a recreational program; this year we gave scholarships to 417 Base Camp athletes.
The presence of, and commitment to, the Base Camp program in Aspen illustrates the strength of our community and commitment to our youth. Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club could not reach as many children in the Roaring Fork Valley if it weren't for our donors and community partners — from Aspen Skiing Company providing the pros to teach our athletes, the schools from Glenwood to Basalt opening their doors to us and allowing us to host registration nights, to Gorsuch and D&E/Four Mountain Sports going above and beyond by providing equipment to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate.
Last Tuesday was also Colorado Gives Day, a day to support and celebrate non-profits across the state. At AVSC, we asked our community to imagine growing up in the mountains and never getting the chance to ski or snowboard. We are so grateful for all who support AVSC and help us try to prevent that from happening in our valley. Now, imagine walking into Gorsuch only to have your first pair of boots fit by Jeff Gorsuch himself, then get those boots fitted to a pair of skis and walk out with all of it to use for the season, at no cost to you.
That was reality last Tuesday for many of our athletes, and for that we are so grateful.
A huge thank you goes to Jeff Gorsuch and the team at Gorsuch, and Derek Johnson and the team at D&E/Four Mountain Sports. Your patience and care in ensuring the best equipment fit for each and every individual athlete was tremendous. What a great way for them to start their season — thank you.