Park City Community Raises Over $67,000 to Bridge Opportunities for Local Youth
PARK CITY, UT – During the last weekend of February, members from the Park City community gathered in support of the youth development nonprofit, SOS Outreach. Over the course of two days, attendees collectively raised over $67,000 to fund the organization’s mission of bridging opportunities for youth through mentoring in the outdoors. “We are committed to the success of the more than 450 young people we engage in the Park City community,” says SOS Executive Director, Seth Ehrlich, “and we follow through on that commitment by providing outdoor access, adult mentorship, and career development opportunities. None of this would be possible, however, without the community’s support.”
The weekend of philanthropy kicked off on Saturday with a cocktail hour celebration at Park City Mountain’s Legacy Lodge. The event was sponsored by Park City Mountain, Vail Resorts’ Epic Promise, and the Peter Grant Johnson Foundation. Attendees, of which over 100 were present, heard impact stories from current SOS participants and alumni. Heidy Hernandez, who is an SOS alumna, staff member and former mentor, shared her experiences being in SOS. “I loved being a participant in SOS and I decided to become a mentor because I felt like it was important for other kids to see more people of color on the mountain. I’m really grateful for the opportunities that have been opened for me and I’m excited to extend those same opportunities to the next generation of SOS youth,” said Hernandez. The cocktail event also featured the presentation of the Peter Grant Johnson Community Leadership award, which went to a long-time participant recognized for her leadership skills, Crystal Lou.
On Sunday, a small group met on the slopes for the one-of-a-kind Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour. Through a mix of lift-accessed side country and backcountry touring, the group skied six resorts in the Wasatch Range. “The Interconnect tour was a great way for our supporters to experience the power of connection that being in the outdoors and sharing an activity together provides,” says Ehrlich, “that deep sense of belonging is the same thing our kids experience when they get out on the mountain for the first time together. By the end of the tour, we were all closer and our supporters walked away with a stronger sense of our program intentionality and impact.”
100% of the proceeds from the weekend will be funneled back into SOS programs ensuring that local youth will get a chance to succeed, no matter their life circumstances. “We are beyond grateful for the outpouring of support we received this weekend,” says Ehrlich. “We are thankful for our industry and foundation partners like Park City Mountain, Epic Promise, Armada Skis, Ski Utah, and the Peter Grant Johnson Foundation. More than anything, we appreciate the unwavering support and willingness of our community to step up and help young people thrive.”