Alex Brown of Port Angeles jumps a few inches off the ground while skiing through the trees on Hurricane Ridge in 2013. (Peninsula Daily News)

Alex Brown of Port Angeles jumps a few inches off the ground while skiing through the trees on Hurricane Ridge in 2013. (Peninsula Daily News)

Winterfest supports winter sports at Hurricane Ridge

PORT ANGELES — The slopes of Hurricane Ridge have sported ski lifts for 60 years now.

The milestone coincides with Winterfest, the annual fundraiser to support winter sports at Hurricane Ridge that’s aiming to collect $50,000 Saturday night.

This year’s event from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. 4th St., will dabble in past and present, showcasing 60 years of Hurricane Ridge photographs and video footage while raising funds for future capital improvements and scholarships.

On the menu is a smoked prime rib dinner prepared by Next Door Gastropub and Coyote BBQ, live music by Bill and Rudy, live and silent auctions, and short films centering on local skiers and snowboarders.

“It’s a fantastic event. You can come as you are; it’s a casual group of people,” Winterfest chair Danielle Lawrence said. “The food is excellent, and the support from the community is incredible.”

Tickets cost $55 in advance and $60 at the door. Tickets for children 12 or younger cost $25.

Tables for parties of eight, reserved with the buyer’s name displayed, cost $400 — a savings of $5 per person.

They can be purchased at Swain’s General Store in Port Angeles, 602 E. First St.; Necessities and Temptations gift shop in Port Angeles, 217 N. Laurel St.; Brown’s Outdoor in Port Angeles, 112 W. Front St.; and Brian’s Sporting Goods & More in Sequim, 609 W. Washington St., Suite 21.

Checks should be made payable to the Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Education Foundation, 136 E. Eighth St., PMB 218, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

During the festivities, the top films from the Port Angeles film festival, VideOlympics, will be shown — as is tradition. They include “60 Years of Ridge History” by Joe Swordkmaker; “Long Stories Short” by Ethan Straham; “Shred the Ridge” by Evan Applegate, Ryan Tucker and Jack McColl; and “VideOlympics 2014” by the Z boys.

Live and silent auctions include more than 300 items, varying from ski gear to works of art.

“Even if you’re not a winter outdoor sportsperson, there’s something for you,” Lawrence said of the auction’s variety.

Some of the big-ticket items include a seven-day stay for four in Whistler, B.C., walking distance from the ski resort; a four- to five-hour whale-watching tour for two people with Island Adventures; tickets to a Lefties baseball game with luxury box seating plus a $250 food and beverage voucher; and a kayaking trip for four with Adventures Through Kayaking, followed by wine and cheese tasting at Harbinger Winery.

Proceeds from the event fund an underfunded ski club.

“We’re not in it to turn a profit,” Lawrence said, laughing. “Let’s just put it that way.”

“This fundraiser is integral to our situation because the ski club never turns a profit,” she added, noting its 20 to 30 unpaid volunteers.

The Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Education Foundation funds four to six scholarships for children of low-income families to participate in ski/snowboard lessons or a ski team each year.

In 2016, the foundation covered ski/snowboard lesson fees for 20 fifth-graders, the 5th Graders Ski for Free Program; transportation for children to ride a bus to Hurricane Ridge; and scholarships for ski patrol candidates to cover the cost of course materials and out-of-town instructors.

Winterfest also supports capital projects to the ski area.

In the past, those have included a new intermediate rope, an electrical generator for the bunny rope tow, maintenance to the grooming machine, ski patrol training and equipment, a new roof and paint job for the intermediate motor house, new paint for the ski patrol’s Zebra and Mountain Operations Center and a 2008 Chevy van for the ski team, instructors and operations crew.

All were funded, at least in part, by Winterfest, Lawrence said.

In 2017, the ski club hopes to purchase Poma parts to upgrade the platter pull, a ski lift with a disc that goes between a skier’s legs.

For more information about Winterfest, visit hurricaneridge.com. Cascadia Films produced a 50-second video of last year’s event.

________

Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at ssharp@peninsula dailynews.com.

A snowboarder makes his way down the slopes of the Hurricane Ridge ski area in 2010. (Peninsula Daily News)

A snowboarder makes his way down the slopes of the Hurricane Ridge ski area in 2010. (Peninsula Daily News)

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