The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation's 15th annual Janss Pro-Am Classic last week turned out to be a great success even before a stunning announcement during Saturday's awards dinner in the Limelight Room of Sun Valley Inn.
SVSEF honorary board member Rufus Brown and his wife Liz Brown revealed they would donate $250,000 to the foundation. SVSEF officials said the donation will go into the Endowment Fund and be spread over a 10-year period.
The overwhelming generosity of the Browns was the icing on the cake of a wonderful three days of ski racing and socializing in Sun Valley. Many others stepped up and made donations at the dinner.
Event director Kate Berman said, "With 30 teams, making it our second biggest Janss ever, this weekend was huge!
"The opening Pro Party at Michel's Christiania Olympic Bar was a hit as always and the weekend just continued with dancing at Whiskey Jacques American Harvest Classic Martini Party, Saturday's dinner at the Limelight Room and of course, the racing.
"We couldn't have had better weather and more exciting teams with themes like Vintage Board Games, Hot Tub Time Machine, Sun Valley Serenade, Grumpy Old Men & the Frenchman and Freestyle or No Style.
"This annual weekend of fun, skiing, racing and parties went off without a hitch and lived up to its reputation as the best weekend on snow."
One of the SVSEF's most successful fundraisers was title-sponsored by investment bank Stifel Nicolaus Weisel.
Berman said, "We had a great influx of young pros like Paul McDonald, Jilyne Higgins, Scott Macartney, Shane Cordeau and Ben Verge. They joined our devoted pros like Christin Cooper, Mark Tache, Steve Porino and Zach Crist.
"These pros and the 30 teams, including many first-time participants, definitely made the weekend. We couldn't have done it without them, our massive corps of volunteers, donors, team sponsors and event sponsors."
Proceeds from the Janss Pro Am help support 450 youth members of the SVSEF alpine, snowboard, freestyle and cross-country teams. The high school student-athletes who are part of the program posted a winter GPA of 3.35, and they achieved many competition awards.
"The success of this weekend is an indication of the strong and vibrant organization we have grown into and of our community that supports our young athletes and opportunities for them to reach their potential in so many healthy ways," according to Berman.
See more photos in next week's Local Life edition.
Top overall teams were:
First place—Sawtooth/Roosevelt Winos with pro Heather Flood Daves, junior pro Loni Unser and Cameron Leady, Donna Doan, Warwick Phillips and Keri Desler.
Second place—Seattle Lumberjacks with pro Libby Ludlow, junior pro Colin Waycott, Richard Waycott, Tim McGee, Paul Carson and David Higley.
Third place—I Ski with pro Hank Minor, junior pro Jake Blackburn, Ryan Dean, Brick Blackburn, Tyler Ferris and Wes Powell.
Fourth place—Superheroes/Clear Rock Capital with pro Chris Puckett, junior pro William Everitt, Jack Gilligan, Peter Hustis, James Everitt and Renee Faltings.
Best Crash: Hank Minor and Royce Rheinschild.
Race Rookies: Donna Doan and Richard Waycott.
Fastest Pros: 2004 national slalom champion Paul McDonald from Dartmouth College and Crystal Mountain Alpine Club, and Sun Valley Ski Academy recruiting director Jonna Mendes, a four-time national champ from South Lake Tahoe.
The Speed Cup was based on raw speed from handicapped runs on first day. Winners:
1—Team Retro with pro Nick Maricich, junior pro Wyatt Minor, Kipp Nelson, Robin Sarchett, Steve Brown and Matt Murphy.
2—I Ski with pro Hank Minor, junior pro Jake Blackburn, Ryan Dean, Brick Blackburn, Tyler Ferris and Wes Powell.
3—10th Mountain Division with pro Steve Porino, junior pro Lexi Black, Heather Black, Claire Abbe, Sarah Mazzola and Brett Jacobson.
Once again, the teams did a bang-up job of dressing for the occasion, this year's theme "Vintage." Here are winners for the Best Costume prizes:
First place, costumes—Vintage Games/Main St. Market with pro Langely McNeal, junior pro Samantha Busby, Kim Taylor, Karen Holzman, Bedford Nabors and Janie Reynolds Eagan.
Second place, costumes—10th Mountain Division with pro Steve Porino, junior pro Lexi Black, Heather Black, Claire Abbe, Sarah Mazzola and Brett Jacobson.
Third place, costumes—Gender Benders with pro Danica Patrick (Karoline Droege), junior pro Lindsey Vonn (Sage Rheinschild), Billie Jean King (Trina Peters), Susan Butcher (Vicki Wiseman), Babe Zaharias (Kathryn McNeal) and Julie Krone (Carol Mutzel).
Honorable mention—Honeymooners and Tinseltown/Ketchum Chiropractic with pro Bob LaPoint, junior pro Lily Fitzgerald, Tom West, Julie Daniels-West, Alison Orr, Chris Orr and Rocket.