Originally published in the Olean Times Herald by Ginna Hensel
ELLICOTTVILLE — Embrace your inner penguin and slide for a good cause Saturday at the annual Penguin Paddle, hosted by the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program, at the Holiday Valley Resort.
Join Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP) volunteers at the base of Yodeler ski lift for a food tent serving lunch for a donation of $5, a silent auction, a raffle and an opportunity to slide down the hill like a penguin for their annual fundraiser. This year’s raffle prizes include a Holiday Valley season pass, a pair of skis and a gift certificate.
“The Penguin Paddle is the sole fundraiser for the LASP,” said Bill Bredenberg, director of LASP. “This is our only source of funding for training, scholarships and equipment.”
Making a comeback in person after a virtual event last year due to COVID, in accordance with the Holiday Valley resort guidelines, masks will not be required as the event will take place in an outdoor venue. Vaccination status is not required for any guest.
“We missed seeing so many of our friends, family members and supporters in person last year. It is always better to interact with people on a personal level,” said Sue Whistler, assistant director and lesson coordinator of the program.
The main event is the penguin paddle slide, where participants ages 3 to 99 can register to get a black garbage bag for a donation of $1 with holes cut in for their arms and heads. Participating penguins can then slide down a sectioned off area of Yodeler on their stomachs like a penguin.
“We are back in full force this year, and it is a terrific year for the program,” Bredenberg said. “We are excited to welcome back old friends, and make new ones.”
The silent auction is made up of different items and gift baskets donated to LASP. More information for donations for the silent auction can be found on the Lounsbury Adaptive Program Website at lounsburyadaptive.org.
Patrons can also support the LASP by purchasing a Penguin Paddle button pin for $1 available at different locations across the Holiday Valley Resort.
This year’s LASP season is underway and runs until the third week of March. The instructor team is made up of 40 volunteers this year with roughly two-thirds of the volunteers certified through the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).