Pro Skiers Turned Philanthropists

Lately some pro skiers have been using their influence to start nonprofits. We take a look at SheJumps, an organization co-founded by pro skier Lynsey Dyer, that aims to get girls into the outdoors. We also check out Alpine Initiatives, started by a group of skiers, that helps developing countries in need.

Exhibit A: In 2007, pro skier Lynsey Dyer, along with skiers Vanessa Pierce and Claire Smallwood, launched She Jumps, a nonprofit that supports women in outdoor sports like skiing. She Jumps has conducted learn-to-ski clinics for underprivileged youth and this winter will host a series of avalanche-safety courses for women in Utah. On January 21, they’ll be hosting SheJumps into Winter: A FUNdraising night of avalanche awareness at the University of Utahs Alumni House. “The purpose of the evening is to bring the community together and introduce more women to the wonders of backcountry touring while giving experienced tourers more knowledge,” says big-mountain pro skier and SheJumps co-founder Lynsey Dyer. “As a professional skier, I understand the enormity of the mountains and the constant need for knowledge and keeping myself and friends alive.” The event will feature a presentation by veteran avalanche forecaster Evelyn Lees, and include slideshows of women skiing in the backcountry, prizes and giveaways, plus a silent auction to benefit SheJumps and Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center. Money raised will go to SheJumps programming that includes (S)heJumps into the Canyon, a four-week camp at Alta Ski Area this March where SJ affiliated athletes such as big-mountain pro skiers Lynsey Dyer and Rachael Burks teach Boys & Girls Club kids how to ski. Doors open at 6 p.m., presentation starts at 7 p.m. At the Alumni House, across from the University of Utahs Student Union (155 S. Central Campus Drive). Admission: $10.Make a donation to She Jumps.

Exhibit B: In 2008, freeskiers J.P. Auclair and Mikey Hovey, former World Cup racer Chad Fleischer, and Alaska heli-ski guide Seth Koch formed Alpine Initiatives, which travels to developing countries to help communities in need. In October 2008, they went to Meru, Kenya, with shovels and pickaxes to dig the foundation of a community home for HIV-positive children. It houses 80 kids and provides them with caretakers, medicine, and education. See below for a time lapse video of their time in Meru. Make a donation to Alpine Initiatives.

time lapses from meru 2009 6/6: 11th – 15th of august. from JP Auclair on Vimeo.

This is one of the weekly time lapse videos we put on to show our donors the construction work progress.

Shot with a Canon 1D Mark II.
Music: Maria Ya Ya, René Lacaille & Bob Brozman.
Editing: Final Cut Pro.