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March 23, 2012
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Lake Tahoe Celebrity Winterfest raises $250K for Special Olympics

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Thanks to the generosity and support of corporate teams and sponsors, the 16th annual Blazent Celebrity Winterfest two weekends ago at Diamond Peak Ski Resort and the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe raised more than $250,000 to support Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada.All proceeds from the March 2-4 weekend, which included a corporate Ski Challenge and a Polar Plunge into North Lake Tahoe, will support more than 17,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities throughout Nevada and Northern California who rely on donations to receive free sports training and competition throughout the year.“Celebrity Winterfest goes beyond being a ski event. Our supporters ski down the mountain with our Special Olympics athletes and witness first-hand their amazing athletic abilities,” said Rick Collett, CEO and President, Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada. “Our guests absolutely loved the venues, the weather, and most of all the warm personalities and the competitive spirits of our Special Olympics athletes. Everyone is already looking forward to next year.”Some 300 guests attended the weekend’s many Celebrity Winterfest events, which were open to the local Incline Village and North Lake Tahoe communities. Events included the NetScout Systems, Inc. “Let the Game Begin” welcome reception, an opening ceremony and corporate Ski Challenge at Diamond Peak, and an awards dinner and live auction.Those skiing at Diamond Peak during Celebrity Winterfest had a chance to watch corporate teams compete in a slalom race for a chance to win bragging rights for fastest team, best individual time and best spill.Twelve corporate teams were paired with a Special Olympics athlete and a celebrity skier. The corporate team, time, celebrity and athlete pairings included:• Fastest Team: NetScout Systems, Inc., 197.01 seconds, Brian Krause (Charmed), Jason Mullis (Special Olympics athlete)• 2nd Fastest: Schoonmaker Construction Team #1, 206.56 seconds, Dirk Schoonmaker (Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue), Jacqui Gilpin (Special Olympics athlete)• 3rd: Blazent Furious, 221.86 seconds, Scott Grimes (ER, Robin Hood, American Dad), Jared Schmidt (Special Olympics athlete)• 4th: The Safeway Foundation, 279.81 seconds, Chris Larson (KOLO TV, Reno), Susie Enos (Special Olympics athlete)• 5th: Hyatt Regency, John Sasaki (KTVU, FOX 2-SF), Michael Cotter (Special Olympics athlete)• 6th: Timothy Curry andamp; Denise Lawson-Curry, Michael Moloney (Extreme Makeover Home Edition), Philip Sturgeon (Special Olympics athlete)• 7th: Blazent Fast, John Vogel (The Mix Masters), Jacob Price (Special Olympics athlete)• 8th: Blazent Fun, Tim Abell (We were Soldiers, Soldier of Fortune), Trevor Irwin (Special Olympics athlete)• 9th: Taylor Morrison, Michael Buie (Next 3 Days, Mystery Alaska), Ryan Stewart (Special Olympics athlete)• 10th: Blazent Fabulous/ISG, Emmanuelle Vaugier (Two and a Half Men, Covert Affairs), George Harris (Special Olympics athlete)• 11th: Mede Analytics, John Sasaki (KTVU, FOX 2-SF), Candy Agpawa (Special Olympics athlete)• 12th: Schoonmaker Construction Team #2, Juliette Goodrich (KPIX, CBS 5-SF), John Lahti (Special Olympics athlete)For more detailed information on the Special Olympics Blazent Celebrity Winterfest visit: www.CelebrityWinterfest.comSpecial Olympics saw significant participation from members of the community for the North Lake Tahoe Plunge. The Hyatt Regency Resort Lake Tahoe swept two of the top fundraising awards. Lead individual fundraiser went to Fred Findlen, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency, and the Top Team fundraising award was presented to Hyatt Regency Resort Lake Tahoe.Best Individual costume went to Tim Abell (Winterfest celebrity, We Were Soldiers), and Best Team costume went to Greater Nevada Credit Union for their Titanic inspired float andamp; costumes.According to a press release, Hyatt Lake Tahoe’s team raised more than $6,000 in donations, and more than $18,000 was raised from all Plungefest participants in 2012.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 23, 2012 01:25PM Published Mar 23, 2012 01:24PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.