U.S. Moguls Team Raises Over $100k in Annual Fundraiser, Fully Funded for 2019-2020 Season
The U.S. Moguls Ski Team reached their $100,000 benchmark, and then some at a recent fundraiser in Vail, hitting their goal to be fully funded for the 2019-20 competition season. “Everything we do on and off the hill would literally not be possible without you,” said Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.) to a crowd of moguls skiing fans at Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club during the U.S. Moguls Ski Team’s second annual fundraiser. On September 6, athletes of the moguls team returned to Vail Colo. for the event—a home away from home for many. Eleven athletes have roots in Colorado, an impressive six are alumni of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
“Vail has always been a special home to the sport of freestyle skiing,” said Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.). “The entire community has stood alongside me and my career and has supported me from the moment I began competing. And now, the community represents a very important part of our team as we’ve hosted two incredibly successful fundraisers here. It’s so special to me and my teammates that we are fortunate enough to have our event in Vail. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support, donations, and love we’ve received from people all over Vail, and the entire country. Our humble freestyle family is growing every year because of this event, and we couldn’t be more stoked about it!”
The brainchild of Johnson and Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.), the fundraiser raised nearly $100,000 in its first year. The best athletes put the needs of their team before the needs of themselves and surround themselves with a strong support system. Although an individual sport, the moguls athletes value the ability to come together as a team to support each other to be the best in the world. Driven by the success of last year’s event, the team was energized in their focus to rally around each other and raise the money necessary to fully fund the whole team for the 2019-20 season.
Not only did the team come together, but notable alumni showed their support as well. Emceeing the night was two-time moguls Olympian Heather McPhie Watanabe, and in attendance were moguls alumnis Shannon Bahrke (Olympic silver and bronze medalist), Keaton McCargo (2018 Olympian) and Hunter Bailey (former U.S. Ski Team member) as well as alpine Olympic silver medalist and Colorado-favorite Billy Kidd.
The evening featured a cocktail reception, graciously hosted by moguls superfans Jim and Jeffy Benedict, who were both presented with customized race bibs making them honorary moguls team members. Attendees were treated to a live auction which included several athlete experiences that attendees could participate in over the weekend, fun travel packages and awesome team gear. Supporters that couldn’t make the event in person made a huge impact by donating remotely via the moguls team’s online donation site, which is live through September 30.
“Working together to raise enough money for the entire team for the second-consecutive year was a fun experience!” said Giaccio. “It’s always incredible to see teammates not only help organize the event, but spread the word and get more people to attend as well. Personally, I feel honored that I had the opportunity to speak to the donors on behalf of the entire team at the event itself. I’m beyond proud of the fact that we’re now fully funded as a result of our collective efforts!”
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