The silent auction. I was its victim. "It's for a good cause" I hear the little voice in my head saying. And I guess- aside from Susan G. Komen- it's probably one of the best causes I can ever support.
The money goes to helping the Utah Ski Archives record, keep and protect our Intermountain ski heritage.
The collection of films, photographs, memorabilia and more is housed in the Manuscripts Division of Special Collections at the University of Utah Marriott Library and it's the largest of its kind in the country. Did you know we had something like that around here? I didn't.
It was created to "preserve a comprehensive history of skiing in Utah and the Intermountain region" so that we can hand down our ski legacy to future generations.
The Archives, founded in 1989, is also the repository for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics Games Bid Committee records. If you ever wanted to do a term paper on the sport, it's all right here in Utah. Letters, competition rosters, site plans, news clips, even old lift tickets. There are also countless sound and video recordings with oral histories detailing the way it used to be. Of course, all of this costs money to maintain.
One of the biggest fundraisers for the Archives is the Utah Ski Affair and it's also one of the best places to spot a skilebrity. This year was no different. In the corner, U.S. Olympic Moguls Bronze Medalist Shannon Bahrke was hovering over a white puffy North Face ski jacket hoping no one would outbid her. Travelhound and United States Ski Team public relations director Tom Kelly checked his name on the sheet for lodging at Alta.
I was introduced to the head of Rossignol, one of tonight's main sponsors and the benefactor for Ryan's (my boyfriend) new Rossi S7s he picked up at the auction for $400.
It was all very civilized. I got to wear a sparkly strapless number and Ryan wore a coat and tie. We sat down to a tasty buffet of salads, roast beef, chicken and salmon before the video portion of the night began. We weren't watching Warren Miller tonight- although I'm sure every movie that featured Utah is in the Archives. We got to watch all of the past Snowflake ads. The Utah Travel Council wanted to tease the new ad campaign that will hit YouTube and cable this winter.
Then, one by one, this year's honorees stepped up to the podium. Since this was a post-Olympic year, national collegiate, World Cup, Olympic and Paralympic skiers were handed a History-Maker Award, to recognize their contributions to the advancement of winter sports in the Intermountain Region:
Shannon Bahrke, Salt Lake City, Olympic Winter Games, women's moguls, bronze medal; Brett Camerota, Park City, Olympic Winter Games, Nordic combined, gold medal; Billy Demong, Park City, Olympic Winter Games, Nordic combined, gold medal; Julia Mancuso, Park City, Olympic Winter Games, women's downhill, silver medal; women's Super Combined, silver medal; Jeret "Speedy" Peterson, Boise, ID, Olympic Winter Games, men's aerials, silver medal; Danelle and Rob Umstead, Park City, Paralympic Winter Games, women's visually impaired, downhill, bronze medal; super combined bronze medal; Stephani Victor, Park City, Paralympic Winter Games, women's slalom sit, silver medal; giant slalom sit, silver medal; super combined, gold medal; Andrew Weibrecht, Park City, Olympic Winter Games, super G, bronze medal; Bryon Wilson, Butte, MT, Olympic Winter Games, men's moguls, bronze medal.
Salt Lake City native Jim Gaddis was awarded the S.J. Quinney Award for his significant contributions to the development of skiing in the region. His bio reads:
In the late 1950s, Gaddis was a multi-year junior national champion and later dominated the national racing circuits, winning the NCAA combined title, the U.S. Giant Slalom Championships and the Snow Cup. He garnered NCAA All-American honors in 1960 and 1962 while competing for the University of Utah where he was team captain for three years. Later he became a prominent ski coach and founded one of Utah's first racing programs for the development of junior racers, the Gaddis Training Organization (GTO).
He was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Utah Crimson Club Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2005.
The late S. Joseph Quinney, in addition to being a state legislator, was one of the founders of Alta Ski Area in 1938.
Thanks to Earl Holding, the 20-year-old event has been held at the Little America Hotel for more than a decade. Makes sense with his ties to the ski industry and the rich history he shares with it. I.E. he owns Sun Valley and Snowbasin in case you didn't know. Every year the dignitaries of past and present skiing convene to check-in, give each other some awards and get psyched for another year of making ski history. Oh and to rob me blind. In a good way.