Tahoe’s Big Daddy: Memorial Fund expanding to include needs based scholarships
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Diamond Peak Ski and Education Foundation is pleased to announce the expansion of the Steve Steiner Memorial Fund Scholarship program.
In addition to the fund’s two merit-based scholarships covering 50 percent tuition that are awarded to two 8- to 10-year-old athletes each season (the Big Daddy scholarships), the program is expanding to include Ski Spirit needs-based scholarships.
One to three Ski Spirit scholarships for partial or full tuition will be awarded over the next three seasons. They will be based on financial need, with Incline Village residents being given priority consideration.
The scholarships are in memoriam to Steve Steiner, a longtime Incline resident and lifelong skier who died last season.
The memorial fund is made possible by donations from Steve’s friends and family, as well as a generous grant by the Tahoe Mountain Resort Foundation.
Applications are due August 31. To learn more, contact Jeff Corcoran at 775-722-8842 or go to Diamond Peak Ski Team’s website to download an application a http://www.dpsef.org.
Applications will be kept in the strictest of confidence.
Considering this news of the scholarship’s expansion, the Bonanza is honored to publish the following story and tribute about Steve Steiner, as written by Janet Hershey, Steve’s wife, who lives in Incline Village:
Stephen Steiner (Dec. 8, 1950 — Jan. 13, 2014) enjoyed all things skiing. It was his greatest passion in life. It kept him young and vibrant and filled him with childlike enthusiasm. Steve’s truest happiness was being on the mountain with friends. He was also a student of the sport.
There was a library of ski history books that he collected over the years — some dating back to the 1920s. He read them all and learned many technical aspects of skiing from these books. Not only was he a student of skiing, he was a teacher. He wanted everyone to enjoy the mountain as much as he did.
Surprisingly, Steve did not start skiing as a child. He took up the sport when he was a college student at Cornell University in upstate New York. After college he moved west.
He kept every ski pass. Some of the early ones: Heavenly Valley 1972/73; Crested Butte 1973/74 and 1974/75; Powderhorn 1975/76; Winter Park 1976/77.
In the 1980s Steve moved back to Long Island, New York and opened a restaurant with his brothers. That didn’t last long, the mountains called. He moved to Hunter, N.Y., and opened his own restaurant.
Of course, the place was only open for dinner so the days could be spent skiing. It was the place people gathered after a day on the hill. Eventually, he came back to where his big mountain skiing started. He moved back to Lake Tahoe in 1994. The ski passes are too numerous to mention.
For a few winters Steve worked at Squaw Valley as an instructor for the kids in the Big Mountain Program. He enjoyed teaching younger students rather than adults. Young people have a curiosity and enthusiasm that matched his own. His goal was to show them everything a mountain had to offer.
Different terrain, snow conditions, etc. He wanted them to feel the excitement of the snow, of being with friends. He would be tremendously honored and proud of the “Big Daddy” Scholarships and now the “Ski Spirit” Scholarships.
It gives young people the opportunity to learn an activity they can enjoy for their entire lives.
For those of us who knew Steve, he offered inspiration in living a life of passion. His enthusiasm for skiing was infectious. The camaraderie of friends, the freedom of choosing the best line down the mountain, the simplicity and elegance of the perfectly carved turn.
For Steve, skiing was pure happiness. The nickname “Big Daddy” came from a silly sticker on his skis. Yes, even at the age of 62, he still decorated his skis with stickers. The skis and the sticker are long gone but the name “Big Daddy” remains.
It is an acknowledgement and tribute to his big heart, big passion for skiing, and a big spirit for life in general.