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: firstname.lastname@example.org