Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ontario Track 3 Association for Disabled Skiers

Another fabulous winter is only a few short months away and our office staff are working full “Steam Whistle” ahead on preparations for our 36th season of helping kids and teens to experience the excitement, freedom and personal development through Ontario Track 3.

Our dedicated Track 3 office staff of Henk Engles, Kathy Saunders, Amy Hopkins have been recently augmented with the temporary specialty skills of Dana Robertson, Jennifer Hill and Diane Guiney to help with our various projects. Thanks to everyone, we are on track with volunteer recruitment, student enrolments and preparations for our annual fall fund raiser to be held at the historic Steam Whistle Brewery on Friday November 14th. The ski season might only be 3 or 4 months out of each year but the business of Track 3 spans all 13 months. Well, it feels like there is never enough time to do it all!

The seasonal nature of Track 3 usually means that volunteers, students and donors tend to delay winter plans until the first signs of snow. Too Late! If you (and everyone you know) offer early notification (Now!) then we can make important commitments to more students for this winter. There are dozens of children on our waiting list whose lives will permanently change for the better if we can provide the necessary volunteer support. If you are a volunteer (or want to be) then please take a few moments to contact the office and even more importantly, to invite some friends to join in on the greatest experience of a lifetime.

Great News! The Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, Communities in Action Fund has provided us with an interim subsidy to help reimburse travel expenses to instructors who participate in our “Week Day School Ski Day Program”. Last year we assisted over 120 students on School Ski Trips. More students will benefit from the Track 3 experience this year however our growth and success may be limited by the availability of week day volunteer instructors and assistants. This is a wonderful opportunity for people with a flexible schedule. For the first time, we will also offer a special Level 1 Instructor certification session at Centennial Park for any new School Ski Day instructors who cannot attend the standard January Level 1 instructor training in Collingwood. Do you know any retired skiers, work-from-home mom skiers or self employed snow boarders? Tell a friend about the travel reimbursement, convenient training and the new week day opportunity to hit the slopes a few more times this year.

Funding, donations and event revenue are critical to our ability to continually meet the needs of Track 3 kids. One of our current initiatives is to join forces with existing corporate events to add our Track 3 flavour to corporate ski days, parties and functions. Does your company have a social, client or employee appreciation ski day? How about a barbecue or art show? There’s a good chance that we can help arrange auction items, offer sit-ski rides and contribute volunteer organizers. Consider turning your corporate event into a socially responsible event. Contact the Track-3 office to find out more.

Special thanks are owed to Gord Hines, Gillian Morrison, Jeff MacInnis, Allen Palmiere and Bruce Creighton, who have all served for many years as directors on the Track 3 Board. Thank you for your time, commitment, wisdom and guidance. I also wish to welcome new board members Dawn Lunan, David Thompson, Philip Brooks and Jens Mayer.

The business of Track 3 might seem simple on the surface however the orchestration of fund raising, government grants, facilities management, volunteer recruitment, technology, etc can be a challenge. Fortunately, we have been blessed with talented volunteers, board members and staff. It only takes a brief moment to reflect upon the experiences we have all had with the kids to stay focused on our task. One skill progression, one new friend, or one smile makes all the effort worth while.

We are looking forward to another fabulous Track 3 season. Thanks for everything you do and enjoy.

Steve Jones
Ontario Track-3 Ski Association

Quote for Today ...."Everyone has the power of greatness. Not for fame, but greatness. Because greatness is determined by service." Martin Luther King

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