President’s Message

March 14th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

From the desk of the President


            Once again it was another epic adventure for our March trip. For the first time, we rented a van to transport students up to the mountain. I am hoping that we will be able to do this for our next trip. This depends on two things, one, that we have enough students interested to make it worthwhile. Number two, we need a qualified safe driver who can leave about mid day on Friday. If you are interested and able, please let us know.


            Congratulations to first time student Andrew “Drew” Shelley and first time instructor Michelle Pastor. We had a great time skiing with both of them. Our day with Drew began on a snow bike and ended with some jumps underneath the chair on Sesame Street. I thought we had worn him out. After a short nap in the condo, he rallied back and was giving rides on the small skateboard on the back of his chair to the kids at the pot-luck. Both will bring great energy to our group. I look forward to both of them skiing / instructing with us in the future. Also, Andrew has done extensive traveling around the world. A film crew traveled with him and made a documentary about his adventures. It is called “Beyond the Chair”.  Google it for more information. We are hoping to set up a screening at some point in Orange County. There are also some screenings near Claremont and in the San Diego area that are coming up soon.  Watch for more information. We also met Drew’s parents Tom and Barbara. They are both avid skiers and Tom has worked ski patrol. We look forward to them joining us as instructors.


            Now to the serious part. Ski-a-thon is upon us! This is our major fundraising event of the season for the group. Virtually all of our funding comes from individual private donations. Though we are on stable ground financially, it seems as if participation in both fundraising and the Ski-a-thon has been lagging. There have been discussions within the board that there is a possibility we might have to begin charging  for lessons, as DSES and most other DSUSA chapters across the country do. Another aspect of this is that we have seen some students not participating in fundraising at all. We recognize that the economy is less than perfect, and that individual students may not have the means to pay. That being said, we are more interested in the effort than the size of the donation. A few dollars here and a few dollars there will add up quickly. We do not want to turn anyone away if money keeps them from being able to ski, but we also would encourage students and families who have the ability to pay for some or all of condo and equipment expenses to do so. This will allow us more resources to use for first time students and those who might otherwise not be able to ski.  I was recently contacted by the family of one of our first time students, they were so impressed with our group that they plan on making a donation to us. I would encourage anyone in similar circumstances to consider doing the same.


            Special thanks to Greg White who was able to obtain our first donations via Pay Pal. Instructions on doing this can be found at our website Ski-a-thon materials are also available here. This is a convenient way for individuals to donate directly to the group without having to write a check.


            Finally, thank all of you for what you do in this grand and noble enterprise. I continue to be both humbled and honored to be your president. We should have great snow for our next trip, and I am optimistic that there will still be good snow in May. See you on the mountain.


Gary “Commander G” Konecne




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