Donate Ski Gear for Tax Breaks and Goodwill

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Schleper with her son, Lasse, who is already learning how to ski.You’ve been to four different Winter Olympics—Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin, and now Vancouver. How are they all different? What stays the same? Japan was just totally overwhelming for me. I’d never been to the Orient before, I’d never been to the Olympics before. I just soaked it all in and enjoyed every day. Salt Lake City, being in my home country was really great. It was the best Opening Ceremonies because everyone was really jacked up for all the Americans. In Italy, I just went and tried to have a great time. They’ve all been a little bit disappointing. The main goal as an athlete is to win a medal. You’re not there to watch or party—you’re there to win a medal and that’s the bottom line. And I wanted to give myself another shot at that.How has having a family changed your perspective on ski racing? Before my life was focused on skiing. Now that my family comes on the road, and just having a family, it makes that more of a priority than skiing. It’s so nice to have them with me while I’m traveling. Before, home was so far away. Now that they’re with me I feel that home is wherever I go. If I have a bad day, I come home and hang out with Lasse, and that’s anything but a bad day. He’s the joy of my life. Also, my husband does such a good job. I couldn’t do it without him.

Boulder, CO, Oct. 25, 2000--Too much winter equipment cluttering your closet? Need to make room for this year's gear? No problem. The annual Donate-a-Ski/Donate-a-Board program will accept your donations and turn them over to charitable organizations across the country. You can even get a tax break to help purchase new gear!

Last year, over 90 tons of clothing and equipment were collected and distributed to 22 organizations, including 71 Special Olympics chapters. This year promises even more goods, possibly over 100 tons worth of skis, boards, and apparel. "We're having a great launch already," reports Jeanne Mattie, a spokesperson for Donate-a-Ski.

Now in its third year, Donate-a-Ski is expanding the scope of their programs and distribution. Community groups across the country have joined the list of organizations supplied by Donate-a-Ski. The Cincinnati Recreation Commission and a school group for high-risk teens are among those newly benefiting from the drive.

Donate-a-Ski's national spokesperson, Billy Kidd, is facilitating Journey into Wellness, a program on a reservation in Fort Duschesne, UT that will help Native American youth enjoy winter recreation. The Sims and Ride companies have donated 200 pairs of boots, 50 boards, and even new clothing to aid the effort.

A large portion of the equipment collected this year will go to the 2001 International Special Olympic Games in Alaska. The international nature of the Games will draw athletes from around the globe, including some who have never seen snow. Donate-a-Ski will outfit both competitors and non-competitors. "We hope to get a couple African athletes skiing," said Mattie.

More than 200 locations, mostly ski shops, across the country accept donated clothing and gear. Donors will receive a receipt for tax deduction. The program runs from October 7 through December 31, 2000. To find a participating shop near you or to learn more about the Donate-a-Ski program, call (800) 639-2761.