Tahoe rallies to raise $26,000 for injured photographer/skier
Special to the Sun
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — A community fundraiser for adventure photographer Jason Abraham — affectionately known as Abro — raised more than $26,000 toward his medical costs that are accumulating after a neck and spinal trauma injury at Squaw Valley on April 9.
Hosted by the High Fives Foundation and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the fundraiser was held Sunday, April 19, at the Rocker in Squaw, where Abraham’s wife, Kate, is general manager.
Roughly 300 friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances attended.
“I’m very impressed how the team here at Squaw came together on such short notice and put together a successful event,” said Squaw Valley Banquet Manager Katy Stevens. “The community support for Abro has been amazing, along with the support of local businesses, the Shane McConkey Foundation and High Fives.”
The evening featured a 3-course dinner with live music, a silent auction, and a raffle with more than 1,000 tickets sold, plus drink specials poured by afro-wearing bartenders — a bouncy nod to Abro’s signature style.
“What the money does is give them the opportunity to breathe and figure out what the next step is, rather than worry about mortgages or panic over medical debt,” said world-renowned BASE jumper and professional skier JT Holmes, who donated several pairs of skis to the raffle and silent auction. “It’s great to see everyone support this family that has been a family to all of us.”
Abraham, founder of Elevated Image Photography, was skiing the Palisades Main Chute at Squaw when he caught an edge, lost control and fell below the reverse traverse line that cuts across the top of Siberia Bowl.
He was taken via Careflight to Renown Regional Medical Center’s ICU Trauma Unit, where he underwent immediate surgery to his fractured C5/6/7 vertebrae and damaged spinal cord that has caused him to lose feeling from the chest down.
On Thursday, the Abrahams took the next step in Jason’s recovery by moving him to the world-renowned Craig Hospital in Denver, a rehabilitation center that specializes in spinal cord injury and brain trauma.
High Fives will host another fundraiser for Abraham on Saturday, May 2, at the Soul House in Truckee. Tickets are $20 per person, and the event will feature a showing of the much-anticipated fight between boxing champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, said Steve Wallace, associate director for High Fives.
In addition to these events, the organization — founded by Roy Tuscany and dedicated to raising money and awareness for athletes who have suffered a life-altering injury while pursuing their dreams — has also launched an online fundraiser, and as of Thursday, the effort had raised more than $51,000 toward Abraham’s medical expenses.
“Our main goal is to raise one year of Jason’s salary,” said Tuscany. “That way he won’t have to worry about work or other financial responsibilities so he can truly focus on his rehabilitation, which is what is most important right now.”
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