Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Strategy Group
Vertical Express at Schweitzer Mountain Helps People with Multiple Sclerosis Live Fuller Lives
Ski or ride March 8 to make a difference in the lives of people living with MS at an on-snow fundraiser
Sandpoint, Idaho (February 18, 2014) — Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy the best Schweitzer Mountain has to offer, all while benefiting lifestyle empowerment programs for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), March 7 and 8, 2014, at Vertical Express for Can Do MS. This annual skiing extravaganza at Schweitzer Mountain Resort will celebrate the 30th anniversary of, and raise funds for, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit and innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that help families living with MS.
Skiers, boarders and telemarkers of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to challenge themselves in a giant slalom race on Schweitzer Mountain’s Nastar Course; compete in an obstacle course; participate in a “Pardi Gras” costume competition; enjoy a screening party of a documentary memorializing Can Do MS founder, Jimmie Heuga, the first American ever to medal in Olympic ski racing; and enjoy festivities with friends and families at a celebration party, awards and auction. The Schweitzer Mountain event is one of four nationwide Vertical Express events that together have raised more than $11 million in their 30-year history. Can Do MS hopes to raise $33,000 at this year’s event.
“Vertical Express is an event that ties together one of our founder’s greatest loves, skiing, with his lifelong commitment to inspire and empower people with MS to enjoy a better quality of life,” said Heidi A. Heltzel, president and CEO of Can Do MS. “We invite anyone whose lives have been touched by MS, as well as those who simply love to enjoy winter sports, to join us for all or part of this multi-day celebration that showcases what one can do while making a meaningful difference for those living with MS and their families.”
Event registration is only $25 and benefits Can Do MS programs, which are offered free of charge and serve 10,000 people annually. However, with waiting lists for Can Do MS programs, fundraising events like this will help Can Do MS meet the demand. Supporters who raise $250 or more are awarded VIP status, and receive prizes such as a one-day lift ticket, a gift bag and perks at the awards party. Participants can register online at www.mscando.org/verticalexpress to start fundraising and will receive a personal web page they can customize with their own messages and photos, allowing them to honor loved ones touched by MS and inspire others to support their participation.
The two-day event includes a variety of family-friendly activities.
DAY ONE: Friday, March 7
5:30-8:30 p.m.: Registration party. Location: Alpine Motors, Hwy 95, Sandpoint, Idaho
DAY TWO: Saturday, March 8
9-9:45 a.m.: Late registration and gathering; photos and registration for “Pardi Gras” costume competition. Location: Caribou Room
9:45 a.m.: Pre-race meeting. Location: Caribou Room
10 a.m.: Group photo. Location: Clock Tower
10:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Giant slalom race. Location: Schweitzer Mountain Nastar Course
12-1 p.m.: Break for lunch; view and vote on the Pardi Gras costume contestants. Location: Caribou Room
1:30 p.m.: Challenge race meeting. Location: Caribou Room
1:45-3:30 p.m.: Challenge race. Location: Schweitzer Mountain Nastar Course
3:30-4:30 p.m.: Free skiing
5 p.m.: Viewing party for Can Do: The Legacy of Jimmie Heuga documentary, silent auction and cocktail hour. Location: Caribou Room
7 p.m.: Dinner, celebration party, awards and auction ($40 for non-participants and guests). Location: Caribou Room
8:30 p.m. Evening entertainment. Location: Taps
Not only does this year’s Vertical Express event celebrate the 30th anniversary of Can Do MS, but it also memorializes the 50th anniversary of Can Do MS founder Jimmie Heuga’s Olympic medal in ski racing—the first ever won by an American.
For more information or to register for the event, visit www.mscando.org/verticalexpress.
Vertical Express for Can Do MS national sponsors include Vail Marriott Mountain Resort, Biogen Idec, Teva Neuroscience and Swany America Corp. The Schweitzer Mountain event is sponsored locally by Questcor and Schweitzer Mountain Resort.
About Can Do MS
A national nonprofit organization based in Avon, Colo., Can Do MS is an innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life. For more information, visit the organization’s website at www.mscando.org or call 970-926-1290.
About Vertical Express for Can Do MS
Vertical Express for Can Do MS began when Can Do MS founder Jimmie Heuga organized the first Snow Express for MS in Alyeska, AK. Original participants included fellow world-class skiers Jean Claude Killy, Phil and Steve Mahre, Billy Kidd, Stein Eriksen and Bernhard Russi, who together broke records when they skied one million vertical feet in 24 hours. This event raised the seed money needed to start Can Do MS and it continues to be an important fundraiser for the organization.