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Second-Annual Live Like Sam Day Marks Renewed Focus on Mental Health

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 7 2020

Live Like Sam Day, created in partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Live Like Sam Foundation, is coming up Saturday, Oct. 10. For this year’s second-annual celebration, the organization is not only honoring the legacy of the late internationally-ranked freeskiing champion, Sam Jackenthal, but is celebrating the nonprofit’s renewed focus on providing educational programming and mental wellness initiatives for youth communities.



On Oct. 10, 2015, the Park City community came together for Sam Jackenthal’s Celebration of Life following his sudden passing during a tragic skiing accident in Australia. While his death left behind a huge hole in the hearts of his fellow Parkites, his father, Ron Jackenthal, was determined to honor his legacy of love, kindness, community, and self-compassion by giving back to youth in need. In 2019, the Live Like Sam Foundation officially launched, getting support from partners all over the nation, including U.S. Ski & Snowboard, USASA, Vail Resorts, Woodward Camp, and many more.

Since the organization’s founding, Live Like Sam has provided more than $100,000 in merit and needs-based scholarships to deserving youth who exemplify the Live Like Sam core values of character, athletics, responsibility, and education. U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s core values of integrity, passion, fun, team, excellence, and grit closely align with Live Like Sam’s mission, making the partnership between the two organizations a perfect fit.

“I am very excited to have such a great partnership with Live Like Sam and we are looking forward to what future collaboration will bring,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Director of Sport Education Gareth Trayner. “The mental health and wellbeing of our athletes, coaches and members is of critical importance to us and we are always looking for ways to better resource and support our communities. The incredible wealth of material that Live like Sam is producing will play a pivotal role as we move forward in building the next generation of lifelong lovers of sport."

As Live Like Sam looks to the future, the organization has big plans to help youth communities gain access to mental wellness resources so they can become emotionally, socially, and mentally fit for adulthood. Part of the foundation’s renewed focus includes a commitment to develop educational programming that aims to destigmatize mental wellness and help youth communities strengthen their coping mechanisms through practicing self-compassion.

“We’re not an organization focused on loss, we’re an organization focused on life,” explains Ron. “Sam is so full of life: Even after his passing, he is still making a positive impact on people’s lives. Our goal is to help others live a positive, compassionate life like Sam’s, and part of that means creating the tools and resources for them to do exactly that.”

On Oct. 10, Live Like Sam invites everyone to celebrate Live Like Sam Day either online or by attending the live event at Utah Olympic Park from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m MDT. The day encourages people to put self-compassion and kindness first by performing acts of self-love and random acts of kindness. For those participating online, the organization has provided a list of self-compassion and random acts of kindness activities that people can use as a source of inspiration to celebrate the day. You can get involved by posting about your celebration online using #LiveLikeSamDay. Live Like Sam is also hosting a silent auction online for those unable to attend the live event in-person. The silent auction features more than 50 auction items valued at more than $50,000, and all proceeds collected will go towards furthering the Live Like Sam mission to champion mental wellness in youth communities. Learn more about the Live Like Sam Foundation by visiting