Tahoe cross-country ski area seeks to fill $30,000 fundraising gap | SierraSun.com

Tahoe cross-country ski area seeks to fill $30,000 fundraising gap

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

Two people cross-country ski during a previous winter at Tahoe Cross Country.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, Tahoe City's nonprofit cross-country ski area is still seeking donations heading into the winter season.

Since launching a fundraising campaign in May, Tahoe Cross Country has raised more than $57,000 toward a goal of $80,000, said Valli Murnane, manager of the ski area.

"We received gracious contributions for which we are eternally thankful, yet we missed our goal by nearly $30,000," the Tahoe Cross Country Board of Directors stated in a recent newsletter. "Now we are faced with raising the remaining needed funds."

Last month, a second campaign got under way, said Jim Robins, president of the Tahoe XC Board of Directors.

Donations received by Tahoe XC since Aug. 14 have gone into a separate fund, after an anonymous North Tahoe resident came forward, pledging to match up to $40,000 in additional funds raised by the end of November, he said.

"This generosity is unfathomable, and it is completely contingent on … (donations)," the board of directors stated.

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As of Tuesday morning, Tahoe XC has $16,416.50 in its matching fund account, which equates to $32,833.18 raised, Murnane said.

That amount is separate from the more than $57,000 raised in the initial campaign, Robins said.

Yet, similar to the original campaign, funds raised in the matching account will go toward covering fixed expenses such as insurance, salaries and equipment maintenance in order for Tahoe XC to open for the 2015-16 winter season without incurring debt.

Meanwhile, an upcoming capital expense for the ski area is the replacement of a 12-year-old snowcat that is nearing the end of its useful life.

A new snowcat could cost up to $300,000, according to Tahoe XC. A portion of matching fund donations will be used toward a down payment on the grooming machine, Robins said.

For the past two years, Tahoe XC has been drawing down its reserves to cover fixed costs due to poor weather conditions not allowing the area to be open as often as it would in a good snow year.

This winter, weather conditions — not the amount of funds raised — will dictate Tahoe XC's opening.

"We are optimistic that we will have decent snow year, so TXC can get back to being a self-sustaining nonprofit organization," Robins said. "… We are counting on opening for the ski season."

Under normal winter conditions, season passes, daily ticket sales and ski rentals are Tahoe XC's major source of revenue for supporting operations and programming.

The nonprofit Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association's mission is to promote the sport of cross-country skiing through educational activities for children and adults.

How to donate

Online: tahoexc.org/support_tahoexc

Mail: Send a check made payable to TCCSEA to Tahoe Cross Country, PO Box 7260, Tahoe City, CA 96145

Note: Donations are tax deductible. Visit tahoexc.org to learn more.