Sunday, March 23 was the perfect day to host the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports’ (VISAS) annual fundraiser, the Herb Bradley Pepsi Challenge.
Participants had a great day of spring skiing at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, with 17 teams involved, many with some killer costumes and accessories.
The Herb Bradley is in its 25th year and is VISAS’s major fundraiser for the year. Teams from down island, the Comox Valley and Campbell River showed up for a fun and easy slalom race with VISAS’s adaptive snowsports students. The team closest to its estimated time was the champion with Reliable Auto Body taking home this year’s bragging rights.
The Spirit of Herb Bradley Award is named for the founder of adaptive snowsports on Vancouver Island and a leading community figure in his day. The award is given each year to an individual who embodies Herb’s enthusiastic spirit – someone who rises above challenges and setbacks to participate in the thrill of snowsports. This year’s recipient is Chris Lane, a long-time participant in the program, and now a VISAS instructor.
“Although we had to reschedule our fundraiser due to snow conditions,” said event co-organizer Brian Gorman, “we were pleased with the turnout and very appreciative of all our community partners and supporters.
“We would especially like to thank Peter Gibson and his team at Mount Washington, Westjet for its donation of a travel voucher, Pepsi Canada, Thrifty Foods, CHEK TV, all the local businesses who contributed prizes and gift items, to our VISAS volunteers, and to Oscar Grubwieser for taking some great photos.”
The Herb Bradley is usually held the second Sunday in February and is open to anyone who would like a fun day on the slopes. Proceeds from the event go to cover expenses for new adaptive equipment, the annual Learn to Ski/Snowboard Festival and ongoing instructional programs. Last year over 500 students participated in a variety of alpine, Nordic and snowboarding activities. VISAS’s program operates seven days a week with 85 volunteer instructors.
For more information about getting involved with adaptive snowsports for individuals with physical challenges or who are developmentally delayed, or if you are interested in volunteering visit www.visasweb.ca or its Facebook page. To view highlights from the 2014 HBPC visit www.flickr.com/groups/visas.
– Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports