The Fernie Alpine Ski Team (FAST) is prepping for the annual ski swap, their biggest revenue generating fundraiser of the year.
Steve Koles, president of FAST, said that the event has been a part of the community for so long that it is considered the official start to the winter season.
“It’s the annual ski swap, the one that kicks off the season,” said Koles. “It’s been going for as many years as I can remember.”
The swap features second-hand and gently used ski and snowboard gear, allowing for discounted prices, and Koles said he is impressed with the selection of gear every year.
“I’m amazed every year. I end up coming out of there with more stuff than I sell just because the quality is so good,” he said. “You’d be amazed at the different levels of inventory that show up.”
The gear drop off is on Nov. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fernie Community Centre. The swap is the following day, starting at 10 a.m. and going until 2 p.m.
“Usually there is a very long line up before 10 so get there early for a lot of the good selection,” said Koles.
This is the main fundraiser for FAST, with $2 from every item entered, $2 from admission fees and 20 per cent of profit from goods sold going towards the club. Koles said that the money will be going to support FAST and their expenses over the race season.
“Skiing and ski racing is an expensive sport and we want to ensure we keep it accessible for all ages. The funds FAST receives will be used to keep our registration rates down – held firm now three years in a row – pay and train local coaches from the Elk Valley, as well as equipment such as gates and timing equipment,” he said.
After the swap, the Ski and Snowboard film festival is set for 7 p.m. at the Community Centre, featuring three new ski movies, including TGR’s Paradise Waits.
“That is a great way to kick off the Fernie winter season. That one is the sole fundraiser for the Canadian Ski Patrol, which obviously supports thousands of hours of patrol services in Fernie,” said Koles.
FAST is still accepting registration for the upcoming season. More information on their club and registration can be found on their website, Ferniealpineskiteam.ca.