ELLICOTTVILLE - So, you love to be on the slopes, you love the crisp cold mornings, the camaraderie with fellow slope creatures. But, you also like to be able to give back to those that are in need of a little help. HoliMont, in conjunction with the Cattaraugus County United Way, can help you combine those two things. All you have to do is come out to HoliMont on March 6, pay your registration and ski.
The event is not just hitting the slopes after paying $60 to help out the United Way. In return for your help, prizes are on the line, food is to be had and a lot of fun is to be found, according to the ski area's marketing director, Dash Hegeman.
In its seventh year, "Ski Day for the United Way is not just a day of fun, but a continuance in the mission of what HoliMont does," he said.
"Ski Day for United Way is one of HoliMont's ongoing efforts to help support the local community," he said. "It's a fundraiser that also allows participants to enjoy a fun day out on the slopes. One of HoliMont's core values is the idea of family unity, and we take pride in being about helping this community."
For the $60 registration fee, skiers will get a lift pass, continental breakfast, a gourmet lunch from Ellicottville's own Dina's on the Mont, an event shirt, entry into the Poker Run and after-run snacks. Throughout the day, there will also be drawings for various baskets and 50/50 drawings. From 1-3 p.m., skiers will get a playing card at the end of select runs. The skier with the best natural hand from the many decks to be dealt will win a block Cutco knife, valued at over $600.
While the area is a semi-private one, for skiers that have memberships, the day is one where the public is not only invited, but encouraged to attend, said Candace Plants, executive director of the Cattaraugus County United Way.
"The event is a great way to have fun and meet new friends, network and get a bit of exercise as you support the wonderful agencies that receive donor dollars from the United Way of Cattaraugus County," she said.
All of the proceeds of the event go back into the programs funded through the United Way. The entire day is organized and managed by United Way staff and volunteers, so no fees are paid to fundraisers from out of town, Plants said.
The event was created by United Way board members, Mark Guasteferro and Lettie Chilson and United Way supporter, Dan Meess, with full support of the HoliMont and the board of directors on the hill. The Cattaraugus County United Way offers donor funds to agencies within the county, including Cattaraugus County Community Action, Girl Scouts of Western New York, Allegany Highlands Council of Boy Scouts, Interfaith Caregivers, HomeCare & Hospice, Salamanca Youth Center and Special Olympics. Each year, the organization aims for $400,000 to build a funding base to help these and other services.
Registrations are encouraged in advance in order to guarantee an event shirt. Day of registrations will be given shirts until the supply runs out. Visit www.uwcattco.org to download a registration form or call 372-3620.