CBMM puts more emphasis on junior athletes with AVSC grants
Will Herndon saw a greater need for Aspen’s upcoming junior talent, and decided to step in. In recent years, Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate has contributed grants to Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athletes who are U.S. national team members, but this year decided to expand that help to lower-level skiers and snowboarders.
“We saw there was as much of a need at that junior level. It’s a little bigger group, for sure,” said Herndon, an Aspen native who is the president of CBMM. “Sometimes if they don’t have the ability to support all of the racing needs, they might not have the chance to see what their potential is. So we decided to spread it out a little bit more.”
Last year, CBMM awarded $25,000 to nine high-level athletes, notably recently retired cross-country skier Noah Hoffman, a two-time Olympian, and alpine skier Galena Wardle. This winter, CBMM contributed another $21,000, with 12 of AVSC’s junior athletes getting a piece of the pie.
Many of the junior athletes competed this year on significant stages, including U.S. nationals, and competed across multiple disciplines. A good portion of the money helps fund their travel costs.
“While they are heavily, heavily subsidized by all of the other fundraising AVSC does, they are still some of the more expensive sports out there, in relative to traditional high school sports,” Herndon said of the winter sports. “That’s really what it’s all about. AVSC is such a big part of the community. I grew up racing in the old AVSC. We know how expensive it can get, so it was awesome how our company can get behind these scholarships.”
Among those to receive grant money from CBMM this year was halfpipe skier Cassidy Jarrell, who recently won the overall Revolution Tour title and competed in a few major competitions, including Dew Tour in Breckenridge. Others, like cross-country skiers Chelsea Moore and Kate Oldham, both earned all-American status at U.S. nationals earlier this winter in Utah.
Other AVSC junior athletes who benefitted were Ally Cornelius, Hudson Flynn, Nolen Johnson, Sky Kelsey, Aaron Lee, Chace Maytham, Tanner Perkins, Cate Simpson and Isabella Wright.
Herndon said CBMM and AVSC would likely continue to change how the grant money is divided each year, based on need.
“We want to make it big enough that it makes a difference,” he said.
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Buttermilk Ski Area already is scheduled to host the world’s best at ESPN’s X Games this coming week, while it was recently announced Aspen Highlands will host alpine skiing’s NorAm finals later this spring.