Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hailey Ski Team willing to share

I am writing this as both a parent and a board member of the Hailey Ski Team. My 14-year-old twins, Hannah and Rory Lynch, have been ski racing with HST for six years. My husband Bob and I chose HST over the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation for two reasons. First, it offers a smaller, family-based program, a better fit for our kids. Second, the tuition is much more affordable. We both work full-time and every dollar counts, especially when paying for two at once.

As a business owner in Ketchum, I have supported both SVSEF and HST through donations toward yearly fundraising events. I believe in both programs but feel that having the choice for our children is essential. If this choice was not necessary, HST would not be in its 27th year.

As a board member, I can tell you there are countless volunteer hours that the board and HST parents put into this little organization to keep it going. Our only agenda is to continue to provide a small, affordable, high-quality ski racing program for our area kids. This year we have at least four kids that are going to the Junior Olympics, and the J-4 Festival in Mammoth, which is pretty impressive numbers for a team our size. We must be doing something right.

From the article in the Mountain Express two weeks ago, I read two reasons why Sun Valley Co. wants us off of Baldy. First, it says there are too many racers with limited terrain. Getting rid of HST will not solve that problem. (We are talking about 20 to 25 kids running gates here.) Second, the article states that HST and SVSEF have failed to come to an agreement. We are completely willing to work with either a Sun Valley Co. or SVSEF spokesperson to prearrange training times for HST, SVSEF, and the Sun Valley Ski School Masters, and have it presented with one voice to mountain management. We are also happy to share courses with the Ski School Masters if consolidation is necessary. I urge the Sun Valley Co. to please reconsider our options.

Kelly Bird


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