Mothership Classic sets record with $181,000 raised

This year’s Mothership Classic set a record with more than $180,000 raised.
Courtesy photo

The seventh annual Mothership Classic soared to new heights this year by combining a virtual aspect with the traditional competition at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

With donations continuing to come in following Sunday’s award ceremony, this year’s Mothership Classic eclipsed the $181,000 mark, soaring past 2018’s record by $100,000.

“From the bottom of my heart, from each and every individual and the impact of our program, I want to thank you all for coming together as a community … to not only help break records today, but truly help us ensure that we’ll be able to fully serve our programs this year,” said High Fives Foundation founder and CEO Roy Tuscany during Sunday’s award ceremony.

In its 10 years of fundraising, the program, which started off with skiers asking friends and family for 25 cents per lap on KT-22 as part of the Skinny Ski-a-thon, has now raised more than $560,000.

Roaring back in 2021

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, last year’s Mothership Classic went virtual, resulting in $38,060 being raised, the lowest total since 2015.

This year, organizers were able to return to Squaw Valley while opening the event to a global audience through virtual fundraising and challenges that could be done at any resort. The result would be the largest Mothership Classic, in terms of fundraising to date. Due to the success of the event and High Fives’ two other ski-a-thons, Tuscany said the virtual aspect will remain in place going forward.

Participants received a number of prizes depending on level of fundraising. There were also raffles and other giveaways as part of Sunday’s festivities.

“We had to really figure out a way to still keep community at heart for all these events, so that people still have all of those cherishable, memorable-type of items from participating,” said Tuscany. “It’s been a really cool way to interact with people.”

Top fundraisers

Colorado’s Soren Lindholm was this year’s top fundraiser, hauling in more than $25,500 for the nonprofit.

Lindholm is a High Fives’ athlete that suffered a spinal injury while participating in a telemark skiing big mountain competition. He had more than 575 individuals donate to his Mothership Classic campaign.

“When I posted about it on Facebook, it spread pretty fast,” said Lindholm. “It obviously took off.”

Local skier Scott Fitzmorris raised $6,300 for second place and another local, Drew LaPlante, was third with $4,402 raised. LaPlante took the crown for most vertical feet covered, skiing 68,110 feet on Sunday.

Ebbett Abraham was the top fundraiser out of the youth division, bringing in $2,161. Ebbett, who is the son of High Fives’ athlete and Photography Manager Jason Abraham, also skied 41 laps on KT-22 as part of Sunday’s event.

Much of the funds raised during the Mothership Classic will be directed to High Fives’ March Empowerment Fund cycle. Grant recipients will be announced May 1.

“The biggest thing for us is that we’re able to continue the mission, and we’re continuing it in a way where we’re expanding how much we’re able to give on each quarterly grant cycle,” said Tuscany.

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

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