Ski for the Cure on Snowmass helps fight breast cancer
It’s a lot of fun, but Ski for the Cure is about more than that.
The 15-year-old fundraiser for Susan G. Komen Colorado was in Snowmass for the second time on Feb. 7, and there was plenty of food, music, lawn games and ski racing — and lots of pink. But for the survivors and volunteers gathered at the Spider Sabich Race Area, it meant a lot more than that.
Mike Jahn, of Aspen, one of several guys who proudly donned pink to support the cause, said he got involved because of the money the organization raises for breast-cancer research and the funding it provides locally mammograms and screenings for people who are underinsured or can’t afford them.
It’s also personal.
“Everyone’s got a story of a family member or friend who’s been affected by breast cancer,” Jahn said.
Helen Leby, a part-time resident of Aspen, Chicago and Michigan, is one such person. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, but because it was caught early, she has been healthy ever since. Now she volunteers for Komen Colorado, helping to spread what she sees as that important message of prevention.
She also says the support of her family and friends and groups like Komen helped her get through her treatment. There is a network of men and women in the valley connected to Komen who will give patients rides to the hospital or provide emotional support, and “they make it sound like just another activity,” she said.
Ski for the Cure moved from Aspen Mountain to Snowmass in 2014, and organizer Carrie Marsh said this year there were triple the number of racers skiing and boarding the Spider Sabich course. Local celebrity athletes Gretchen Bleiler, Chris Klug and Sam Ferguson were on hand, presenting awards to the winners of the races as well as a costume contest and other prizes.
Komen has other athletic events throughout the year — Ride for the Cure in Aspen and Race for the Cure in Denver — that not only help it raise money but also encourage people “to be active and engaged,” said Komen Colorado CEO Michele Ostrander. Ski for the Cure 2015 raised about $50,000, most of which Ostrander said will help people in the Roaring Fork Valley stay in the pink of health.
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