Turning out support: Volunteers raise $78K at SKI for MS | SierraSun.com

Turning out support: Volunteers raise $78K at SKI for MS

One of the longer running fundraising events in the area returned to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, bringing dozens of skiers and snowboarders out last weekend to raise money for families living with multiple sclerosis.

SKI for MS made its annual stop at Squaw Valley as part of a nationwide series that is celebrating its 35th year of fundraising through the nonprofit Can Do Multiple Sclerosis.

Stormy weather may have put a damper on festivities — causing wind holds on several runs — but, according to organizers, it didn’t stop 82 participants from raising $78,088 for families living with multiple sclerosis, while also carving out 320,279 vertical feet as part of the inaugural Jonny Moseley’s Vertical Challenge.

Participants had five hours to ski or ride as much terrain as possible in the new event, which harkens back to 1985 when 10 Olympians met in Alyeska, Alaska to ski 1 million vertical feet in 24 hours in support of Jimmie Heuga, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years after becoming one of the first American male alpine racers to win an Olympic medal.

“(Heuga) proved to the doctors that exercise was the best way to combat MS symptoms and reinvented the standard of care for MS patients and all people living with brutal chronic afflictions,” Moseley posted to his Instagram page ahead of Saturday’s event. “He toured the country raising money to help MS patients and encouraged people to take charge of their own health whether they were disabled or not.”

SKI for MS will next head to Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho on March 21, and will then close its eight-stop season with events at Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington and Big Sky Resort in Montana.

The goal for the entire series is to raise $250,000 while skiing 5 million vertical feet. Nearly 3 million vertical feet have been skied thus far by volunteers.

For more information, visit CanDo-MS.org.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

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