Lake Effect Firefighters Race at HoliMont

 By Alicia Dziak

The only thing better than skiing and snowboarding this time of year is doing it for a cause. And the annual SkiScape at HoliMont does just that — combines a fun day of skiing, snowboarding and entertainment with an opportunity to raise funds for Kids Escaping Drugs.

The 17th Annual Kids Escaping Drugs SkiScape takes place on Sunday, Jan. 4. 

“SkiScape is entering its 17th year here at HoliMont and it’s always a fantastic opportunity for people to one, get out on the slopes and two, more importantly, support an amazing organization,” said Dash Hegeman, HoliMont’s marketing director. “Kids Escaping Drugs is unique to the Western New York region and has been instrumental in the lives of so many young people. The work that the dedicated staff at KED does is not only inspiring but ultimately, life changing in many cases.”

The Kids Escaping Drugs staff and volunteers will be setting up in HoliMont’s main chalet early in the morning and get people registered between 8–9:30 a.m.

After registration is complete, most participants head to the slopes for the morning. In addition, individual races will be set up if you’re feeling the need for speed. (Interested participants can enter these races the day of the event.) Medals will be awarded to the top three winners in each division of the races.

After the individual ski races are finished, guests are invited to check out the Lake Effect Firefighters Race, in which firefighters from all across New York State come to HoliMont and put on an impressive display of teamwork and coordination. On skis or snowboards, wearing their full firefighter uniform, these teams race down the hill in unison, weaving in and out of gates, all while carrying a long fire hose. It’s a must-see part of the day!

There is a minimum $60 pre-registration donation, which can be done in pledges and is required for non-members of HoliMont to participate in SkiScape. (HoliMont members pay $20.) A minimum $70 donation can be made the day of the event. Cost includes lunch, admission into the individual races, T-shirt (for those who pre-register) and a fun day of skiing/snowboarding.

If you need even more motivation to seek pledges, the Eastern Hills Mall will also be giving gift cards to any participant who raises $100 or more. ($100-199 wins a $10 gift card, $200-299 wins a $25 gift card, $300-399 wins a $50 gift card, $400-499 wins a $75 gift card and $500 or more wins a $100 gift card.)

Not a skier? No problem! You can still enjoy the day by hanging in the chalet, where you can place bids on an impressive assortment of silent auction items throughout the day is part of this fundraising event.

The best part about this day full of fun and fresh air? The money raised helps Kids Escaping Drugs, the mission of which is to raise, manage and distribute funds for the development and support of facilities, education and prevention programs for adolescents and their families in Western New York suffering from alcohol and drug dependency/addiction. Each year, thousands of dollars are raised during SkiScape that directly benefit Kids Escaping Drugs and the Renaissance Campus.

“Not only are they supporting a great cause, but this is a wonderful opportunity to get to ski or snowboard at a private skiing resort that they normally could not do,” said Christina Kruzer, special events coordinator for Kids Escaping Drugs.

Kruzer points out that the lift ticket alone is a $62 value, and for a minimum donation of $60, not only do you get a lift ticket, but also lunch and a t-shirt — it’s a great deal.

“It’s a very family-oriented event, or people may come with a group of friends,” Kruzer added. “It’s an event for all ages and for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.”

And why not spend a day enjoying top notch skiing and entertainment while supporting a great cause?

“Over the years, we’ve been successful at partnering up and raising money for a great cause while keeping things lighthearted and entertaining,” Hegeman explained. “If you’ve never attended the event, you should definitely check it out this year.”

For information, or to register, visit www.makeachangewny.org or call (716) 827-9462.