The snow this week arrived just in time for the 14th annual Dave Spencer Ski Classic, the annual fundraiser for Durango Adaptive Sports Association.
The classic includes a number of events, from the opening reception today to team competitions Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday’s race includes prizes for everything from consistency and speed to best wipeout.
“The Mountain Rally on Sunday is going to be so much fun,” Adaptive Sports event coordinator Karen Esser said. “It’s a poker run, trivia contest, silly fun contests, all pertaining to stories that ran in The Durango Herald.”
As teams ski over the slopes of Purgatory, they’ll be dressing as zombies to commemorate the march on Halloween, skiing through Fort Lewis College pennants to celebrate the men’s soccer team’s national championship and, inevitably, visiting the Bridge to Nowhere.
“And, of course, the not-to-be-forgotten yearbook photo,” Esser said, indicating that boas will be involved for that stop. “It’s ‘Amazing Race’ types of clues.”
Adaptive Sports provides year-round outdoor recreational activities for people of all ages with physical or developmental disabilities. The Dave Spencer weekend is its largest fundraiser of the year.
“Last year, we made an unbelievable $82,000,” Esser said. “We may not make that this year, but we sure hope to come close.”
There still are slots available for teams, and team members must raise at least $150 each to participate in the weekend’s activities. Saturday teams have five people, and Sunday teams may be made up of two or three people. Participants will be fed lunch both days over the weekend and are invited to the awards party Sunday evening. Participants also are responsible for purchasing their lift tickets.
“You don’t have to put together a whole team to participate,” Esser said. “I can sign you up with a team that has a vacancy or put together a team of individuals.”
While the Dave Spencer Classic has a reputation for being a lot of fun, Esser likes to remind people that volunteering for the organization is a lot of fun, too.
“People start volunteering to ski free,” Esser said. “And then they get sucked in by these joyous people who are having lifetime breakthroughs. Once they learn they can ski, they start trying other things they thought they couldn’t do.”