Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go MAD for Haiti

Silent auction and ski race to raise funds for earthquake victims

Express Staff Writer

When Kristen Mitchell first learned about the earthquake in Haiti, she immediately wanted to jump on a plane to help. Realizing she could not go, Mitchell came up with an alternative. Teaming up with the Wood River Valley-based nonprofit Make A Difference, Mitchell has organized a fundraising event, MAD Turns for Haiti.

"I started to think, what can I do from home to help the victims?" Mitchell said. "We could have a dinner or do bingo, but I wanted to do something on a larger scale."

Mitchell came up with the idea of a benefit ski race, which she said was perfect for this community. MAD Turns for Haiti is a two-day event that will take place Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20. Friday's fundraiser will be a silent auction at Whiskey Jacques' in Ketchum from 6-9 p.m. with a party to follow the auction.

Auction items include two round-trip tickets on Horizon Airlines, 20-day season passes, whitewater rafting trips, golf packages, guided fly-fishing trips, magnums of nice wine, massages and ski gear.

On Saturday, March 20, MAD Turns for Haiti will have a Nastar race on Baldy, which will cost a minimum of $25 to race.

"Anyone of any ability or age can race," Mitchell said. "We will have all types of winners, much like the Town Series."

A celebration at Apple's Bar and Grill in Warm Springs will take place at 2 p.m. In addition, a raffle will take place for $5 a ticket. Ticket holders will have the chance to win a pair of K2 skis signed by professional skiers Zach and Reggie Crist, as well as other items. Ticket buyers over 21 will receive a free beer or glass of wine.

"My goal is to raise $15,000," Mitchell said. "I want it to be a fun event, and the race is not about the fastest on the course."

Apple's will offer food specials and will also feature live reggae music by the Boise-based band Voice of Reason.

All proceeds from the events will go to help raise money to rebuild schools and orphanages in Haiti.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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