Winterfest planned to benefit CPHS animals

Hundreds of winter recreation enthusiasts are expected to take part in the Third Annual Winterfest for Animals at Blue Knob resort in late January.
The event, scheduled for Jan. 25 and 26, will benefit homeless animals at the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society.
CPHS event organizers say the primary fundraising event will feature a “Ski/Snowboard-a-thon” in which participants collect pledges from friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and animal lovers. Forms for the donations can be acquired fat CPHS, located at 1837 E. Pleasant Valley Blvd., local veterinary offices and ski and winter recreation retail outlets such as The Locker Room and Spokes and Skis. To find the most convenient place to pick up a form, call CPHS at 942-5402.
This year’s Winterfest, formerly called “Ski For Animals,” will have “something for everyone” according to organizers.
“We’re encouraging everyone to become involved, not just skiers and snowboarders,” said CPHS President and primary organizer Eileen Roberts. “This year we have some additional events that even non-skiers can take part in…and really have a great time.”
Among the events to be held over the weekend:
•Race for the Animals: A timed downhill ski race on a Nastar Course held both Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
•Animal Costume Contest: Dress up like a favorite animal and win prizes. Competition on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
•Blue Knob Trivia Contest will take place all weekend.
•Mountain Match-up Game: Two sessions, 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each day. Find the matching half of a playing card and win. This is a great way to meet and make new friends.
•Ski Dummy Competition: This fun event promises a lot of laughs for skiers and non-skiers alike. Entrants will build a dummy on skis and race against each other. The only possible injuries will be to the losers’ pride. Prizes will be awarded for the best crash, most creative, speed and distance.
•Celebrity Obstacle Course: A fun race by some of your favorite local radio/TV personalities! The fun starts Sunday at 1 p.m.
•Tubers can also participate by donating $2 to CPHS at the tubing park and receive a $4 discount off a mid-week session.
Participants should visit the CPHS table located in the Summit Lodge near the ticket sales window to register for these special events at anytime throughout the weekend.
Winterfest organizers say prize offerings this year should be a big draw to the event. Each competition will feature a major prize such as a Karaoke machine, a Trek mountain bike (valued at $240), an area health club membership and more. In addition, participants will be eligible for a variety of door prizes, raffles and 50/50 drawings.
Those who raise $20 or more in pledges will receive special, custom-printed T-shirts to mark the event. All who take part will receive special “gift bags” filled with ski and winter recreation-related products/information.
“Winterfest 2003 is made possible through the generous support of major sponsors: Blue Knob Resort and Lee Industries. Other local business sponsors include: F.L. Smithe Machine Co. Inc., Allegheny Orthotics and Prosthetics, Law Offices of Reese, Serbin, Kovacs & Nypaver,” said CPHS Executive Director Dave Hopkins. “We can’t thank them enough for their help.”
Last year’s event was hampered by warm temperatures and undesirable skiing conditions, but organizers are optimistic about the 2003 fundraiser.
“We think the early snow we’ve had, especially on Christmas Day, is a good sign,” said Eileen Roberts. “It’s definitely getting skiers and snowboarders in the right frame of mind for getting up on the slopes and having a great time! We want to invite everyone interested in winter sports and animals to make plans to be at Blue Knob on that weekend and find out for themselves how much fun we’ll all have! At the same time, we want them to know that everything the contribute, whether its work collecting pledges, donating money or time…it all goes toward helping us take care of the animals and finding them permanent homes.”
According to Hopkins, the funds generated from the Winterfest activities will be applied directly to the costs associated with the caring of nearly 100 animals each and everyday.
“People don’t understand why it costs money to adopt an animal from us,” said Hopkins. “But when they understand the costs associated with keeping all these animals at our facility, they understand a little more. We have to pay our utilities, for food and medicine and pay employees to make sure the operation continues to run smoothly.”
Hopkins also said the funds will help the CPHS’ future expansion, which will include a quarantine room.
“We’re hoping to make about $10,000 through the event,” he said.
Lift ticket ski vouchers for Winterfest and any other time area also available for purchase at CPHS all season long. Skiers pay the regular, ticket window price, but have the convenience of arriving at the ski area and redeeming the voucher immediately at the ticket window.
Organizers ask participants to return any Ski-A-Thon pledge money collected after the event directly to the Humane Society or call 942-2477 for pick-up.
For more information on the event, contact CPHS at 942-5402 or check with local ski clubs or Blue Knob resort at 239-5111.