STRATTON, Vt. (March 17, 2003) — Alongside a resounding win of the Men’s Halfpipe competition at the US Open Snowboarding Championship Saturday, Olympic gold medalist Ross Powers raised $20,000 last week at his home mountain of Stratton, Vermont, for aspiring young athletes. Through the Ross Powers Foundation, a charitable organization founded to benefit athletes who lack the financial means to pursue their full potential, Powers auctioned jerseys, race gates, photos autographed by world-class athletes, snowboards, half-day riding sessions with himself and other boarding champions, and many other sought-after prizes to an audience of excited bidders.
“This is absolutely fantastic, said Powers after the auction. “The support my sponsors and the snowboarding community have given to young athletes who have the skills to be champions, but not the money, makes me proud to be a professional athlete.
Among the highlights of this, the first fundraising auction held by the Foundation, were a Lance Armstrong-autographed copy of the Sports Illustrated edition featuring him on the cover, a Steve Young-autographed football and a Brandi Chastain-autographed jersey all donated by PowerBar Harvest® bars; a complete Burton snowboard package — board, boots and bindings — that mirrors Powers’ equipment; a Broncos jersey autographed by John Elway; a Falcons jersey autographed by Michael Vick; a half-day session riding with Ross; autographed jerseys from Anna Kournikova and Mia Hamm, and a Kelly Clark-autographed snowboard. These items alone drew donations of over $10,000. PowerBar Harvest® and Burton also support the semi-annual Ross Powers Snowboard Camp, the proceeds from which benefit the Foundation.
Announced at the X Games in February, 2001, the Foundation grew out of Powers’ awareness of the financial backing required by promising young snowboarders in pursuit of their dreams. Powers, who came from modest financial means himself, depended in his early years on private donations, support and the sponsorship programs of a few key companies — such as Burton and PowerBar’s Team Elite„¢ sponsorship program, which he’s been a member of since his pre-teen years — to offset the prohibitive expenses of becoming a world-class snowboarder. He could not otherwise have afforded the event entry fees, training, travel and equipment costs of riding. After first providing anonymous donations to young riders in need, Powers formally established the Foundation to more effectively rally the support his sponsors and the riding community could provide.
Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $70,000 through donations and fund raising events and supported dozens of athletes. Recipients of Foundation grants are chosen from applicants by a board of directors based on such criteria as financial need, athletic potential and proposed use of funds.
Applications for grants may be obtained online at www.rosspowersFoundation.org.