McLean, VA/ Portland, ME—The Ross Powers Foundation today announced the launch of the “Level Field Fund”, a fund raising initiative to provide financial support for athletes preparing for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. The 2002 Olympic gold medalist in men’s halfpipe, Powers created his Foundation in 2000 to contribute financial support to Vermont athletes in need of assistance and has since expanded the Foundation’s reach to the national level.

The Ross Powers Foundation has already committed $100,000 to the “Level Field Fund” and is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis between now and the 2008 Games in Beijing. The money raised will provide athletes with financial assistance to prepare for the Olympics without being at a disadvantage by lack of funding. The Foundation hopes to raise $500,000 between now and the 2008 Games, all of which will be given away in needed grants to deserving athletes and another $500,000 prior to the 2010 Olympics.

“I am really excited for the opportunities that the ‘Level Field Fund’ will create for many aspiring Olympians,” said Powers. “My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was competing at an early age but I was lucky to have financial support from others to chase my Olympic dreams. This is a great opportunity to help athletes continue onward towards their goal of training for the Olympics without any financial constraints.”

In 2005, the Ross Powers Foundation expanded to the national level to provide financial assistance for several Olympic athletes in their bid for the 2006 Torino Olympics including 2002 Olympic bobsled gold medalist Jill Bakken. The Bothell, WA native is arguable one of the U.S.’s greatest female bobsledders of all time. Bakken won the first gold and silver medals in U.S. women’s bobsledding history. In an attempt to qualify for the team in 2006, Bakken maxed out all of her credit cards. Tapped out financially, Bakken applied to the Ross Powers Foundation for assistance. Without the support and commitment of the Foundation, Bakken wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to defend her gold medal in Torino.

Applications for the “Level Field Fund” are available at www.rosspowersfoundation.org/.

The Ross Powers Foundation raises money for athletes with financial need through private and corporate donations and through the organization’s events and fundraisers. Since 2001, Powers has committed 100% of the revenues generated from his annual snowboard camp at Stratton Mountain to the Foundation. Other contributors include Burton Snowboards, Snickers, Bolle and Stratton.

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