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Have fun and support a worthy cause all in one weekend

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By Kirsten Laskey

After a successful run last year, the organizers of the K2 Women’s Weekend decided if it’s not broke, why fix it?

As a result, the weekend program is returning to Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. It will be held Feb. 5-7.

Amy Bauer, coordinator for the weekend, said the program will have the same format as last year.

The event, which K2 Skis and Pajarito Mountain will sponsor, will feature a few new additions, for instance, there will be  multiple speakers and several cancer survivors will talk, which reflects the theme for this year’s program, “The Many Faces of Hope.”   

Additionally, the weekend will feature the 2010-2011 K2 line of women’s snow sport products. Also, participants will receive a ski lift ticket, breakfast, snack, group coaching, a yoga class and a social event on Feb. 5.

The band, Ngala Mfalme, will perform Feb. 6 and Taos telemark and alpine instructor Tamsen Shurman will host a clinic. A silent auction, which local vendors are supporting, will also be held during the weekend.

While the event is geared toward having a fun weekend, it also carries a more serious purpose.

 “We are raising money for local charity that is called Anita Salas Memorial Fund. They are a local charity that supports and aids New Mexico men and women and provides cancer funds to help them get cancer treatments,” Bauer said.

Last year, the fundraiser was a real success.

“What made it a huge success was the support of our local sponsors – Pajarito Mountain, K2 Skis – local Los Alamos and Santa Fe vendors (and) the participants themselves. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of women,” Bauer said. “They were enthusiastic and giving.  Through their enthusiasm, we raised almost $3,000 to the Anita Salas Memorial Fund.”

The stakes are high this year to continue the successful fundraising.

Bauer said there is a real plea from the charitable organization because of the downturn in the economy and the financial stress everyone is under.

The hope is, she said, with the addition of many new items at the silent auction that more money will be raised.

David Gardener, a Taos ski instructor and a Los Alamos National Laboratory employee, conceived the whole idea for the weekend. He approached Bauer to coordinate the program.

“Besides raising money for the breast cancer research and support, we hoped to encourage women skiers to explore their limits in snow sports and to make new friends,” Bauer said. “It’s great way to meet other women with similar interests and to help raise money for a great cause. And it’s just fun.”

K2 skis, which is a world-wide company that makes skis for men and women and snowboards, would love to make it a national event.

There is no deadline to register. The registration is available at Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol Web site, www.pajaritomountainskipatrol.org. Participants are encouraged to register early because spaces are limited. Once filled up there will be a waiting list.

The registration fee is $65 for a ski pass holder and $143 for non-pass holders.

Even if individuals are not interested in participating in the weekend, they are encouraged to donate to the Anita Salas Memorial Fund.

Checks, made out to the memorial fund, can be sent to Bauer at 620 Navajo Road, Los Alamos.