My Echo Story: SOS Outreach
December 19, 2013
Two local organizations, Tahoe Magic and Discovery Blind Sports, know how to improve lives. Both organizations operate in the South Lake Tahoe area, working year-round to impact the lives of locals, be it through on-mountain ski programs for the blind or providing support to families in times of need. As the recipients of the current Adopt-A-Cause campaign ran through Vail Resorts and Specialty Sports Venture, both Tahoe Magic and Discovery Blind Sports reflect on this year's efforts and look to what's ahead in the New Year.
Discovery Blind Sports has had a presence at Kirkwood Mountain Resort since 1979. The organization's goal is to teach challenging sports to people with little or no vision through innovative methods developed by skiers, guides, racers, coaches and ski instructors. They've been able to do this through the involvement of volunteers, family and friends who all have one thing in common: love of the slopes. Whether it's jumping a cornice on a powder day, carving a groomed slope on two skis, shredding a gully on a snowboard, enjoying the serenity of the cross country trails, or having a snowball fight in the plaza, it's all good. The all-volunteer nonprofit organization is able to offer scholarships to many individuals and groups through fundraising efforts like Adopt-A-Cause. During last season, Discovery Blind Sports hosted between 40 and 60 ski days and they look forward to increasing that number this year. From these days, the athletes go home with a lift ticket on their coat, an "Experts Only" sticker on their helmet and a smile from ear to ear.
Each year, Tahoe Magic continues to quietly and effectively change the lives of hundreds of people in the South Lake Tahoe community. Thanks to Vail Resorts Echo, Tahoe Magic steps in with one-time help for utility bills, rent, groceries and gas for families that are in a crisis. They work with referring agencies that know the families and their needs. Tahoe Magic made a difference last year for a local woman named Maria. She lost her husband last summer and was left with small children and only part-time work. Tahoe Magic stepped in, paying for one month of rent. For Tim, Tahoe Magic brought groceries for his family and paid a month's worth of electricity bills after his father lost his job due to missing work from a much needed surgery. Words cannot adequately describe the different this bit of magic, thanks to the generosity of Vail Resorts and other donors, makes in the lives of Tahoe Magic families.
Corporate sustainability has always been fundamental for Kirkwood and Heavenly Mountain Resorts and their parent company, Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Want to learn more about VR Echo? Go to http://www.vailresortsecho.com.