TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - This winter marks the 28th annual Vertical Express for Can Do MS at Squaw Valley Ski Resort, a skiing and snowboarding event March 9 and 10. The event raises money for Can Do MS, a national nonprofit and innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that help families living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Skiers and boarders will have the opportunity to participate as an individual or on a team, and join in family friendly activities on the mountain."We ask all people to fundraise a minimum of $250 to support Can Do MS's programs, and in return, attend the festivities on event day and receive a gift bag filled with goodies," said Stacey Wittek, co-event director for Can Do MS. "During the event, we'll have a dual giant slalom race and an on-mountain challenge, with prizes awarded in each event. And of course, the best prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers."The day's activities include on-snow events, exciting prizes and an aprs party. Raise $500 and participants will also receive complimentary lift tickets to access the on-mountain events. The more money you raise the better the prizes."Vertical Express for Can Do MS was brought to Squaw Valley Ski Resort 28 years ago," said Heidi A. Heltzel, president and CEO, Can Do MS."This event series has successfully raised over $11 million in its 28-year history, which began when Can Do MS founder and Olympic ski racing medalist, Jimmie Heuga, organized the first Snow Express for MS in Alyeska, Alaska. Original participants included fellow Olympians Jean Claude Killy, Phil and Steve Mahre, Billy Kidd, Stein Eriksen and Bernhard Russi, who together broke records when they skied one million vertical feet in 24 hours. This event raised the seed money needed to start Can Do MS and it continues to be an important fundraiser year after year," said Heltzel.Can Do MS hopes to raise $95,500 this year at the Vertical Express event at Squaw Valley. "It's a fun, philanthropic way to support a great cause while enjoying the snow, and it's a family-friendly day with on-snow activities for people of all ages and abilities," Wittek said.Prior to the event, individual and team participants should register online to start fundraising for Vertical Express for Can Do MS at Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Each participant and team will receive a personal web page that they can customize with their own messages and photos, allowing them to honor loved ones touched by MS and inspire others to support their participation.For more information on how to register for the event and view the event schedule, visit www.mscando.org/verticalexpress or call Stacey at 775-530-6137.Vertical Express for Can Do MS is presented by Novartis Pharmaceuticals. National supporting sponsors include EMD Serono / Pfizer, Genzyme Corporation, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort Hotel & Spa, Biogen Idec, BRAIN FARM / Red Bull Media House N.A., Inc, Swany America, Grabber Warmers, GU Energy Labs and Two Moms in the Raw. The event is sponsored locally by Squaw Valley Ski Resort.A national nonprofit organization based in Edwards, Colo., Can Do MS is an innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life. For more information, visit www.mscando.org or call 970-926-1290.
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