For the past two years, a couple dozen skiers and snowboarders set out to accomplish an incredible — some may say absurd — goal: to descend 100,000 vertical feet in one day, or 107 runs at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Penn. Fueled by Gatorade, pizza and hot dogs, they did just that. Longtime readers know (and new readers will likely not be surprised) to know that I was among them.
There was a mission behind our madness: Our 12-plus hour adventure raised more than $12,000 in 2012 and $25,000 in 2013 to benefit Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization based at Whitetail that provides adaptive ski and snowboard lessons to disabled athletes. Two-thirds of those lessons go to wounded veterans receiving treatment at nearby Walter Reed, who never pay a dime for their lessons. (Read about my 12-hour adventure in 2012 here.)
This year, Steve and I are part of a small group that is setting out to accomplish the event’s most audacious goal yet in its third annual iteration on Feb. 10: to raise $50,000 for Two Top.
For the first time, we’re allowing relay teams to participate in the event. I’ll be part of a team of fellow ski patrollers (Team DYD). My personal fund-raising goal is at least $600, which could provide a whole weekend of skiing, lodging, meals and lessons for two disabled athletes. To accomplish that, I need your help.
First, I’d like to share a few thoughts about why the event and the nonprofit it benefits are so important to me. As most of you know, Steve left active-duty service in the U.S. Navy this year for his first civilian job. I’m grateful every day for the multiple acts of grace it took to get him out of three Persian Gulf deployments unscathed. Supporting an organization like Two Top is the best way I know to pay that grace forward in some small way.
Also, participating in the event the past two years has left me impressed beyond words at what a small, volunteer-run organization can accomplish. This YouTube video of Todd Love, a Marine who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, taking his second lesson with Two Top a few years ago gives you a small idea. If you can watch it (and read the comment from his mom below the video) without getting a little weepy, you may want to check your pulse.
For more information about the 100K Vertical Challenge, or about Two Top, please visit the event’s website at https://ssl.dhweb.com/twotop (where you can donate to my campaign by clicking on “Team DYD”). If you’re in a position to give, please consider donating to this incredible organization, knowing that your contributions will help Two Top meet its goal of enabling everyone to enjoy the freedom and peace of skiing and snowboarding. I truly appreciate any assistance you can offer.