High Fives raises $370,000 at Silver Tie Gala | SierraSun.com

High Fives raises $370,000 at Silver Tie Gala

More than $370,000 was raised during High Fives Foundation's Silver Tie Gala in Reno on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Courtesy Jordan Drew – Alpine Media

RENO, Nev. — A record amount of attendees turned out for the High Fives Foundation’s Silver Tie Gala in Reno and with it came more than $370,000 in donations to the nonprofit.

More than 450 individuals attended the gala on Saturday, Dec. 17, helping raise funds through donations and auction items as High Fives recognized the work and achievements of several of its athletes and volunteers from the past year.

The Truckee nonprofit, which is dedicated to providing resources and opportunities to athletes that have suffered life-altering injures, has served more than 600 athletes, 160 veterans, and disbursed more than $7 million in funds since its inception in 2009. Nearly $2 million has gone toward camps and grants for adaptive athletes in the past year.

High Fives’ annual Silver Tie Gala got underway with the announcement of Susan Stone, of Truckee, as the organization’s new chair of its board of directors.

This year’s athlete of the year was given to Canada’s Ty Turner following a gold medal performance at the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.

Turner lost both legs below the knees due to a skydiving accident in 2017.

Earlier this year he captured gold medals in individual and team snowboard cross. Turner also took bronze in banked slalom, and is a competitive surfer, and avid skydiver. He currently lives on a sailboat off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

“I’m back flying wing suits again,” said Turner. “I’m back doing everything I used to do, and Roy (Tuscany, High Fives Foundation founder and CEO), High Fives, and everyone has been there to support me getting back to that.”

During 2022, High Fives brought adaptive athletes back into the outdoors through its five pillars of programming, which include biking, surfing, skiing, fishing, and off-roading. Camps this season included trips to the Tahoe-Truckee area for skiing, fishing, biking, and also a military on the mountain day at Palisades Tahoe.

“The first camp that I went to, I found my people again that I thought I’d lost,” said Turner.

Matt Leonard, of San Francisco, was named fundraiser of the year. Leonard was injured in 2015 when he caught an edge at Alpine Meadows, hit an icy mogul causing his skis to come off, and hit a lift tower. The accident compressed his spine, shattered his vertebrae and left him paralyzed from the chest down.

High Fives also announced its first ever lifetime athlete award. Colorado’s Tim Burr has been part of the organization since sustaining a backcountry ski injury in 2014 that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.

“It was a life-changing injury followed by a life-changing induction into this Ohana,” said Burr, who was added to High Fives Board of Directors as part of the honor.

High Fives’ partner of the year was given to Eddie Bauer. U.S. Army veteran Andrew “Smitty” Smith was given the volunteer of the year award. The family foundation of the year award was given to the Manitou Fund.

High Fives still has an end-of-year fundraiser happening online with a goal of raising $600,000. As of Wednesday more than $360,000 has been raised.

“Without your guys’ support, High Fives, my family — I wouldn’t be here today,” said 2021 athlete of the year Shelby Estocado. “Us athletes, we wouldn’t be here without you guys. We truly appreciate that.”

The nonprofit also recently announced the return of the Mothership Classic at Palisades Tahoe. The ninth annual fundraiser, in partnership with Arcade Belts, features a competition to see who can ski the most laps on Kt-22. The event is scheduled for March 26. Registration is open.

For more information, visit highfivesfoundation.org.

The High Fives Foundation has disbursed more than $7 million in funds since its inception in 2009.
Courtesy Jordan Drew – Alpine Media
High Fives Foundation Founder and CEO Roy Tuscany auctions off items during the nonprofit’s Silver Tie Gala.
Courtesy Jordan Drew – Alpine Media

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.