The Fernie Alpine Ski Team (FAST) kicked off the snow season last weekend with their annual ski swap fundraiser. The Fernie Community Centre opened its doors at 10 a.m. on November 10 to let in a swarm of ski and boarders looking for a deal.
The event has become a Fernie tradition and offers the opportunity for FAST athletes, and members of the public, to sell off old equipment and buy gently used gear.
“It’s a great event, we get about 60 volunteers from the FAST ski team every year,” commented Lindsay Foster, event organizer. “In the course of about 30 hours we open up shop, bring in about $140,000 worth of ski inventory, sell about a third of it, and then write a check back to the owners of all the equipment, and give back anything that didn’t sell.”
Entry to the ski swap was $2 per person, or $5 for a family. 20 per cent of all sales made will go towards FAST’s young athletes. Foster explained, It goes into the ski club and helps with the expenses of running the organization, sand equipment, gates, and all the ski racing gear that’s used. Plus, hosting the races, timing equipment, all that stuff.”
FAST offers ski racing programs for over 200 young athletes between the ages of four and 18. Based in Fernie, the club draws kids from all over southeastern B.C. and southern Alberta. FAST relies on support from many volunteers each season, as well as contributions from the communities of Fernie and Calgary.
“The ski swap is our most significant annual fundraiser,” remarked Foster. “It’s a monumental effort on behalf of everybody and it helps us raise roughly $10,000 every year.”
FAST racers have been hard at work with dry land training all fall. The young athletes are now getting ready to hit the slopes in a couple of weeks when the ski hill opens.