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March 2, 2012
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Special Olympics Celebrity Winterfest | Hollywood stars, athletes to converge on Incline

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada will once again bring the community together on the pristine slopes of Lake Tahoe’s Diamond Peak March 2-4 for a fun filled weekend of competition and celebration at the annual Blazent Celebrity Winterfest.

Headquartered at the luxurious Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, Celebrity Winterfest is headlined by a host of Hollywood celebrities, business leaders and Special Olympics athletes who will all take part in the weekend-long events that promise to be a highlight of the winter season in Tahoe.

Proceeds from the 16th installment of the annual winterfest will provide funding for more than 17,000 intellectually disabled athletes across Nevada and Northern California who rely on the generous donations from the community to receive free sports training and competition throughout the year.

Among the athletes taking part in Winterfest this weekend is Trevor Irwin, who has competed in Special Olympics in both individual and team sports including track and field, soccer, softball, power lifting and of course, skiing for more than 11 years. In addition to displaying his excellence in athletic competition, Irwin serves as a global ambassador, sharing his story and the benefits he has enjoyed as part of his involvement in Special Olympics.

Community members and Special Olympics supporters are invited to join in the festivities and events throughout the weekend, which begin at 7 p.m. with the “Let the Games Begin” reception hosted by NetScout Systems, Inc. at the Hyatt.

Those interested in downhill action can take in the corporate challenge at Diamond Peak, where 12 corporate teams, each led by a Special Olympics athlete and celebrity skier, will showcase their skiing prowess Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m. Awards for the day’s performances on the slopes — which include fastest skier, best spill and fastest team — will be handed out that evening at 7 p.m. at the awards banquet, which will also offer attendees a night of fun with a live auction, elegant dinner, and dancing.

Sunday brings another chance for everyone to be a part of the Celebrity Winterfest fun, capping off the weekend by taking a dip in Lake Tahoe at the Polar Plunge. Part of the Special Olympics’ national Polar Plunge events, participants dressed in their best and most creative costumes will brave the chilly waters of Lake Tahoe at the Hyatt’s private beach at 9 a.m. Sunday. For information, to plunge (register) or donate to the Polar Plunge, visit www.iPolarPlunge.com.

Celebrities scheduled to take part in Celebrity Winterfest include: Tim Abell (We were Soldiers, Solider of God, Soldier of Fortune), Mike Buie (Next 3 Days, Mystery Alaska), AJ Buckley (CSI: Los Angeles), Scott Grimes (ER, Robin Hood, American Dad), Juliette Goodrich (KPIX, CBS 5-SF), Brian Krause (Charmed), Chris Larson (KOLO TV, Reno), Michael Moloney (Extreme Makeover Home Edition), Jesse Spencer (House), John Sasaki, (KTVU, FOX 2-SF), Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men, Covert Affairs), and John Vogel (The Mix Masters).

For more detailed information on the Special Olympics Blazent Celebrity Winterfest, visit www.CelebrityWinterfest.com.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 2, 2012 10:39AM Published Mar 2, 2012 10:37AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.