From the first sit-ski 15 years ago, support continues to thrive for the work done by Silver Star Adaptive Snow Sports.
Heidi Lussi proudly shows Steve Wikkerink a picture of the first junior sit-ski that SSASS acquired as a result of her first donation in 2005. In the sit-ski is Chelaine McInroy, who later competed in para-alpine skiing at an international level. Since then dozens of young SSASS students have used this sit-ski.
“It is so gratifying to be able to contribute to these students, I am so in awe with what they can do” said Lussi.
Her passion for SSASS has led Thrive Okanagan Real Estate to get behind the program and continue as a corporate sponsor.
“I know how special it is for a person with a disability to successfully participate in an activity,” said Wikkerink, has taken over the lead for the Thrive team (formerly known as the Heidi Lussi Real Estate team) and is enthusiastically continuing to support SSASS. “I am pleased to hear that SSASS offers lessons not just to persons with physical disabilities but also to persons who have other disabilities such as visual impairment or autism.”
SSASS offers ski and snowboard instruction to children and adults with any disability that are not able to successfully take group lessons. It is a registered charity with 60 trained volunteer instructors and offers lessons during the ski season to locals and visitors to SilverStar Mountain Resort.
Wikkerink moved to Vernon and joined Lussi’s real estate team in 2015. He also joined her to watch the Carter Classic in February 2016.
The Carter Classic Memorial Dual Slalom is an annual event and fundraiser for SSASS where students are paired with teams of skiers or boarders from the community, who collect donations for SSASS.
“The event is suitable for all levels and abilities as winning is based on the participants’ most accurate guess of their time going down the course,” said Laurie Spearin, chairwoman for this year’s event, which goes Saturday, Feb. 29.
“I was blown away with the excitement of the students,” Wikkerink remarks about the Carter Classic. “This year we are going to put in a team from Thrive Okanagan Real Estate Team and I hope to get my kids involved. I think it’s important for everyone to be part of these events and celebrations.”