By Deb Everts
Make like a penguin and slide down a slippery slope at this year’s annual Penguin Paddle that takes place this Saturday, Feb. 23.
The slide features hundreds of fun-loving people who put on a helmet and don a black garbage bag, then slide down Yodeler Slope on their bellies like a penguin to raise money for Holiday Valley’s Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP).
Jane Eshbaugh, marketing director at Holiday Valley, said the whole idea of the event is to not only raise money for the program but also to raise awareness of the ski resort’s adaptive program.
“The Penguin Paddle is one of our greatest traditions that’s fun for our guests, but also supports a great cause. Everyone wins,” she said.
LASP Program Director William Bredenberg said there will be an auction for a season pass donated by Holiday Valley, a $500 travel voucher and a pair of high-performance skis from City Garage.
He said they will also have many silent auction items for people to bid on. As always, a great lunch and adult beverages will be served.
According to Bredenberg, this year is the Lounsbury Program’s 30th anniversary. He said all the money for the LASP program comes from either donations or proceeds from the Penguin Paddle.
He said they just purchased a sit ski for people not able to stand for almost $7,000.
“Almost 70-percent of our volunteer instructors are certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America,” he said. “This takes an awful lot of training and dedication by our staff. The funds for this also come from the Paddle.”
Bredenberg said there are some people in the community that can’t afford the cost of a lesson. LASP has a scholarship program, so no one will get turned away because of finances.
“We have a lot of needs and, thanks to the wonderful people in the community, we are able to get many people out on snow and put smiles on lots of faces,” he said.
The Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program serves 200 and 250 disabled clients each season offering ski lessons and equipment to people with all disabilities, both physical and cognitive.
The actual slide scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Registration is $1 and runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the base of Yodeler. The slide is divided by age groups: 4-6; 7-8; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; 15-20; adults (21 and over); and Mixed Doubles (2 person bags).
Schedule of events:
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Registration for the slide at Creekside Lodge, $1
- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Registration for the slide at the base of Yodeler, $1
- 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Silent Auction in the tent at the base of Yodeler
- 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.: Lunch in the Lunch Tent, $5 donation.
- 1:30 p.m.: Penguin Races begin, helmets required
Holiday Valley Resort is located at 6557 Holiday Valley Road. To find out more, call 699-2345 or visit online at holidayvalley.com.