Giving Back to Our Community
At the SSWSC, we are proud to continue to positively impact the lives of the youth in our club and in our community, and we are grateful for the support we receive from our donors, support partners and the Steamboat Community that allow us to continue to play an important part in the lives of our athletes. In recognition of the partnerships that keep our athletes going, some of our programming is also aimed at giving back to the community that supports us. We want all children to have the ability to learn to ski, and in addition to our scholarship program for athletes who wish to participate in SSWSC programing, we are proud to partner with community groups to provide the Ski Town, U.S.A. Initiative and the ACE Club After School Ski Program.
Through the Ski Town, U.S.A. Initiative and the ACE Club After School Program, our athletes have affected the lives of others by sharing their sport expertise with local 2nd graders and English language learners on the slopes of Howelsen Hill. SSWSC athletes also raised funds for local businesses affected by COVID-19 by running, skiing and biking thousands of miles (4,405 to be exact) for pledged donations for the cause.
- Ski Town, U.S.A Initiative
- Mountain Valley Bank, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Christy Sports, Smartwool, Steamboat Springs School District, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, and the City of Steamboat Springs came together for the 3rd year to provide all the components necessary to run the Ski Town, U.S.A.® Initiative. Organized by the SSWSC, this program gave every Steamboat Springs School District 2nd grader the opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard at no cost. Four days of skiing or riding were provided to each child, coming from school to Howelsen Hill on the bus with their teacher and classmates in the afternoons during January and February. Each student participated in a two-hour lesson coached by SSWSC athletes and coach volunteers through the SSWSC ‘Champions of Service’ program. To maximize skiing time for the kids, Christy Sports and SSWSC’s Lori Keefe attended schools before the program started in order to measure and ensure proper equipment was provided on the ski days. This year all of the schools within the Steamboat School District participated, including North Routt Charter School, Mountain Village Montessori School, and even some homeschoolers! We observed our competitive athletes in their role as excellent youth mentors for the kids and were impressed with their kindness, patience and positive energy.
- ACE Club After School Ski Program
- With rental gear provided by Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare and coaching from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, twenty eight 4th and 5th grade kids who participate in the Soda Creek Elementary “ACE” Club came to ski or ride for three free sessions at Howelsen Hill. Most of the kids participating in the “Achieving, Collaborating, and Exploring” Club’s after school ski program use English as a second language. The focus of the group remained on homework help and developing vocabulary, reading and writing skills, but the group also embarked on adventures throughout the community to build vocabulary and provide kids with the chance to experience new things they wouldn’t normally do. This was the second season hosting the ACE Ski Program, and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club was proud to work with the ACE Club to bring skiing and riding to these students.
- Community Strong
- When COVID-19 shut down the remainder of the season’s programming, SSWSC came up with a creative way to keep athletes moving with purpose while in isolation during quarantine. In the “Community Strong Challenge” athletes were asked to exercise on their own and track their mileage, with the goal of donors supporting the miles and all funds going to the Yampa Valley COVID-19 Response Fund. SSWSC athletes surpassed their initial goal of 2,000 miles of physical exercise by more than double! In all, the athletes ran, biked, walked, skied, and hiked 4,405.31 miles in three days, and their efforts generated $8,593 dollars from generous pledges for the Yampa Valley COVID-19 Response Fund. The challenge allowed athletes to stay moving and give back to the community that has supported them for over 100 years by assisting those businesses facing challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- SSWSC Community Food Drive
- From Friday, December 11th through Sunday, December 20th, the SSWSC challenged each athlete to donate between 1 and 3 items of non perishable goods to LiftUp of Routt County. The overwhelming response filled an SSWSC van with more goods than we could count! Luckily, LiftUp of Routt County weighs items that come through, and we are proud to say that donations totaled over 839 lbs of food! We’d like to send a huge thank you to our athletes and community members who donated to the cause during these tougher than normal Holiday weeks, when our community is most in need.
As a community-based organization, the SSWSC is committed to being a supportive partner in Steamboat Springs and Routt County. In addition to supporting 1 in 3 kids in Steamboat Schools through our programming, we are also committed to helping our community thrive. View our athletic events here.
- Winter Carnival
- For over a century the SSWSC has been privileged to produce the Winter Carnival to celebrate our history and heritage in this idyllic mountain town with the largesse of a world-class festival. When the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival was first established, it was a celebration born out of the residents’ need to forget the hardships of winter, chase away the shorter days, and bring happiness back to a valley plagued by snow. Today, this five-day long carnival no longer represents a need to forget the long winters, it highlights the community-wide acclaim of snow that has earned the town of Steamboat Springs the moniker, Ski Town, USA. Throughout the week, athletes will celebrate our Olympic heritage with the community by soaring off of nordic jumps, practicing spins and aerials onto an airbag, and racing down the slopes of Howelsen Hill. The Winter Carnival Night Extravaganza entertains and amazes nearly 8,000 people in attendance as they watch the famous Lighted Man in his pyrotechnic suit shooting fireworks from his body, skiers jumping through the fiery hoop, and the spectacle of a barrage of fireworks that in past years has cumulated with the World Record breaking firework, handmade by Tim Borden. READ MORE HERE
- Ski Swap and Bike Swap
- The annual Ski and Bike Swaps are both hosted at Howelsen Hill Lodge by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The goal of these events is to provide the community with a cost-effective way to buy and sell all of the gear that enables us to live up to our “Ski Town” and “Bike Town” USA reputation. Ski Swap is a family friendly event where individuals sell and buy used items including skis, snowboards, tele and cross country gear, jackets, pants, goggles, gloves, boots, and more. Similarly, Bike Swap offers locals the opportunity to buy, sell, or swap their summer biking gear.
- Smartwool Sale
- 2020 was the 7th year of SSWSC helping to host the Annual Smartwool Sale, in which Smartwool generously discounts sample goods for the locals of Steamboat. SSWSC employees and volunteers spend 3 days organizing, pricing, and running the sale, in partnership with Smartwool employees. Smartwool donates a portion of proceeds to meet their annual commitment as a Gold Support Partner with the SSWSC.
- Steamboat Howler Alpine Slide
- The Howler Alpine Slide enjoyed its 19th year of operating at historic Howelsen Hill last summer. With a 2400 foot track that winds down the hillside and a chairlift ride affording stunning downtown views, the Howler Alpine Slide is a venture that supplements the programming at the SSWSC and provides locals and tourists a unique Steamboat activity. Last summer, the Howler Alpine Slide contributed $50,000 to SSWSC athletic programs, and provided jobs to 40 local kids. The SSWSC is proud to run a business that is “for kids” and assists kids with work and programming needs.
- Embracing the Community at Athletic Events
- In Steamboat, athletic competitions become community events. The Slash & Burn Banked Slalom is open to all and has become a community-wide snowboarding celebration, with over 400 competing and many more there for the show. The Murphy Roberts Holiday Classic and World Pro Ski Tour events feature finish area festivities and a welcoming atmosphere that packs Howelsen Hill with fans and visitors alike. Firepits, warm chili and hot cocoa greet families and spectators at the Hitchen’s Brothers Wednesday Night Jump Series. From all of the community events, the summer Jumpin’ and Jammin’ event truly stands out. Held on the 4th of July on the plastic 75 meter jump, the jump flats are packed with food vendors, situated with hay bales, shade tents, water misters and a hospitality station by SSWSC support partner UCHealth to accommodate the large crowd of over 1,000 spectators. The community is encouraged to experience what jumping is like on our roller jump with the support of SSWSC coaches. Celebrating our freedom while watching dazzling jumps of 250 feet has become a tradition for the community and a showcase for the athletes and programs of the SSWSC. VIEW ALL OF OUR ATHLETIC EVENTS HERE. (Image by Tania Coffey)