Londonderry, Vermont ……. Ross Powers, current World Champion and 1998 Olympic Bronze Medalist, announces the formation of the Ross Powers Foundation, a 501©(3) organization designed to assist talented athletes from Vermont with financial need.

Powers, 21, was born and raised in Londonderry, Vermont, and now resides and trains at Stratton Mountain. An active halfpipe competitor, Powers travels around the world to international competitions and hopes to represent the United States once again at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Powers began competing at the age of eight and worked diligently to become one of the world’s most successful snowboarders. His hard work and commitment paid off and he received support from a number of local organizations and sponsors. His experiences left him with a keen awareness of the financial pressures facing emerging athletes, and the unfair disadvantages felt by those in challenging financial situations.

As Ross states: “World-class competition, especially the Olympics, should feature the best athletes with the greatest drive, commitment, and determination; unfortunately, given how expensive wintersports can be, too often these events feature the best athletes with the greatest drive, commitment, and determination-with a certain level of financial backing.”

Ross is committed to leveling the playing field and encouraging the growth of world-class athletes from Vermont by offering financial assistance to promising athletes in need.

“When Ross came home from the 1998 Olympics, he shared his Bronze medal with all the young riders who came to congratulate him. He continues to generously support young athletes, not only serving as inspiration but also by lending help in many quiet ways,” says Myra Foster, Stratton Mountain Marketing.

Powers’ agent, Peter Carlisle, explains how the Foundation came to be: “A couple of years ago, during a meeting with the marketing department at Stratton Mountain, we were discussing a particularly sad story about a student at Stratton Mountain School, whose family’s financial situation had changed so significantly that he was forced to withdraw from school. Given the need for high-level training and competition at the world-class level of skiing and snowboarding, the student’s withdrawal signified the end to a promising young career, or at least a major disadvantage.

“Someone in the meeting mentioned that upon hearing of the student’s situation, Ross had made an anonymous donation to SMS so the student could remain in school. Knowing Ross, I wasn’t the least bit surprised that he had made the donation, or that he’d done it anonymously. Ross is a class act in every way, without the slightest hint of arrogance or self-absorption. Later, when I asked Ross about the contribution, he hesitantly confirmed it, playing down its significance. It was at this point that we realized Ross was in a position to make a significant difference in the lives of other young, Vermont athletes. At Ross’s suggestion we immediately began the process of setting up the Foundation.”

The Foundation will raise money through private and corporate donations and through the organization of snowboarding events. To kick things off, Powers has committed 100 percent of the revenues through his snowboard camp at Stratton Mountain, which was held on the 23rd and 24th of December, 2000.

Other initial contributors include Powers’ management company, Carlisle Sports Management, and Powers’ sponsors, including Burton Snowboards, RLX Polo and PowerBar. RLX Polo, Burton, and Powerbar will also support the Foundation through their support of the semi-annual Ross Powers Snowboard Camp.

A public announcement regarding the formation of the Ross Powers Foundation will take place during the X-Games at Mount Snow, Vermont, February 1-4, 2001.

For more information on the date and location, please contact Peter Carlisle at 207-775-1500.

The RRoss Powers Foundation Grants will be made on a semi-annual basis. Criteria include level of athletic potential, financial need, and the proposed use of the funds. Applicants must be residents of Vermont or have attended school there for at least the past two years. Applicants must complete a Grant Application and return it to the Foundation at least two weeks before their next meeting.

The next application deadline is July 1, 2001. Applications may be obtained by writing The Ross Powers Foundation, c/o Peter Carlisle, P.O. Box 17574, Portland, Maine, 04112.