Homer skiers take costumes on parade for fun-filled fundraiser
This past Sunday, the weather once again smiled kindly for the 15th annual Ski For Women ski-in-costume celebration at Lookout Mountain Ski Trails. The Kachemak Nordic Ski Club sponsored this benefit for the South Peninsula Haven House, which did not disappoint with its high fun and frolic factor.
More than 55 Homer residents, including a record number of young ones, displayed their creative costume-making skills in a double-loop parade around the hayfields.
Additionally, winter sunshine and crystal-clear views to the west across Cook Inlet of the Chigmit Mountains and of the Illiamna and Redoubt volcanoes provided world-class scenery.
By parade time, temperatures were in the 30s with barely a rustle of a breeze. John Miles and his trail grooming crew from the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club provided well-groomed trails. The ski surface was soft and delightful to navigate.
Sponsors of this Ski for Women event, who donated funds as well as judging and door prizes, include Homer Saw and Cycle, Bear Creek Winery, The Grog Shop, Homer Jeans, Makos Water Taxi, Two Sisters Bakery, Homer Day Spa, Fat Olives, Star Wash, Ulmers, and Captain's Coffee.
Prizes included spa visits, pizza, hot waxes, coffee, a water taxi ride, wine baskets and a variety of ski paraphernalia. They were adjudicated and awarded (by judges Council Woman Diane Adderhold and Executive Director of Haven House Ronnie Leech) to participants in the ski parade.
A group prize was awarded to "The Sea Creatures" (Miranda Weiss, Lila Shavelson and Cecily Shavelson).
The attached-skiers prize went to seven-member Cloud Nine Group (five humans: Reba Temple, Maron Lee, Lorgan Edmindyer, Claire Neato and Oceana Wills, and two fish) for their mobile salmon fishing rig.
The partners prize went to the Barb Hrenchir memorial duo of Alina and Cheryl for "Kayking with Barb."
Best individual costumes were swept up by the "Cat Princess" (Fiona Ahern) and "Viking Princess" (Elana Badajos).
Two separate Judge's Choice prizes were awarded for the cross-dressing duo of Wanda and Wayne Watson, and a fiber art award scooped up by Zena the Warrior Princess Ana Reid.
Other notable costumes included the "Roller Derby Queen," a "Purple People Eater," an appearance by Carmen San Diego, "The Pajama Babies," "Mother Nature" and "The Old Women in the Shoe" with two darling tagalongs.
As part of the ski for women week of activities, on Wednesday afternoon, ski team members Jacob Davis, Caleb Rauch, Denver Waclawski, Josh Wisner, Ben Kettle, Zoe Stonorov, Autumn Daigle, Libby Fabich and Brita Restad and coaches Cole Talbot and Alison Ohara provided coed skiing instruction and ski waxing demonstrations. Instructions and practice sessions were held at Lookout Mountain and the Kachemack Nordic Ski Club maintenance building.
Costumed ski participants, spectators, volunteers and sponsors alike, enjoyed tunes provided by Amy Holman, and socializing around the bonfire and next to the ski club maintenance shed. Copious amounts of hot chocolate, chips and fruit were eagerly consumed on this gorgeous day.
Persistent rumors that the Ski for Women event is being held as an alternative to the Super Bowl are indeed false. Numerous Super Bowl fans, including this reporter, joined in the Ski for Women festivities with time to spare before the 2:30 p.m. kickoff (praise be to DVD recorders).
Kris Holderied, the events coordinator, said one of the key goals of the event was "to provide a fun outdoor event opportunity, to encourage families and friends to fend off the winter gloom by coming out and embracing and enjoying our winter weather. Also, dressing up in costume while skiing some easy, well-groomed trails while you enjoy the company of friends and neighbors.
"It was particularly fun to see all the kids skiing," Holderied said. "We definitely had more kids skiing (or getting chauffeured) this year."
Holderied said the event raised $1,100 for Haven House. Skiers enjoyed a good time for a good cause.
To learn more about Haven House, visit www.havenhousealaska.org. For more info about Homer's ski club, visit www.kachemaknordicskiclub.org.