Jul 1, 2007 | Marmot, Summer 2007

Vancouver Island Mountain Sport Society Goes For The Gold!

Four years after its inception, the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society could be called a success.

In one week last April, the VIMSS raised nearly $19,000 to help local athletes “go for the gold”. The occasion was the annual Black and White Gala, held in the West Coast stylings of Raven Lodge.

A baker’s dozen of athletes were featured at the gala, which drew 150 people. The evening began with a wine reception courtesy of Cherry Point Vineyards and proceeded to a five-course meal provided by Raven Lodge.

The evening included speeches and presentations from VIMSS Chairman Rick Morson, nationally-ranked cross-country skier Sarah Peters and famed alpine coach Currie Chapman. “These kids are the future of the sports they’re involved with and we’re helping them,” said emcee Gordie Tupper of CH News.

The VIMSS is a multi-sport umbrella association that includes Vancouver Island ski, snowboard, freestyle and biathlon clubs, the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports, Mount Washington Alpine Resort and community members.

In addition to funding athletes, the VIMSS is overseeing the Mountain Sports Centre Project. The first phase of that project was finished in 2006, and showcased in March 2007 at the International Paralympic Committee World Cup event held at Raven Lodge.

The first phase included upgrades to the Nordic trail network and biathlon range, an improved lighting system and preliminary site surveys for the buildings, which are the second phase of the project.

VIMSS is working towards construction of the Mountain Sports Centre and Strathcona Provincial Park Outdoor Centre, which will be a part of the new trailhead that officially opened this summer. Mount Washington Resort donated land for both building projects.

Now that the first phase is complete, the VIMSS is busy fundraising for the next phase. At the Black and White Gala, Mount Washington Director of Business Operations Don Sharpe said $900,000 of infrastructure work was done last summer _ and it all started with an original donation of $50,000.

“The total amount we’re working to raise is $2.2 million,” Morson added.

The VIMSS has applied for $950,000 of grant money from various places. The second phase _ construction _ will cost about $700,000. He is hoping private donations will fuel the fundraising effort.

For more information on the VIMSS or to donate to the Mountain Sports Centre project, e-mail info@vimss.com or phone (250) 334-8509.

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