Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Janss Pro-Am keeps the mountain spirit alive

32 teams enjoy skiing and partying on Baldy


Quite a M.A.S.H. unit gathers to celebrate the Janss Pro-Am Classic awards dinner Saturday at the Sun Valley Inn’s Limelight Room. Representing the Operation (Ketchum Chiropractic) team are, from left, Dana Fitzgerald, pro Bob LaPoint, Dr. Rocket, Dr. Tom West, Julie West, Chris Orr and Alison Orr, with Jill Rubin the “Wounded” in front. Photo by Roland Lane

Another successful Janss Pro-Am Classic brought 32 six-member teams to the slopes of Baldy Saturday to celebrate snow sports and to raise money for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF).

“It was a great couple of days of sun and racing,” said outgoing SVSEF executive director Don Wiseman at Saturday’s awards dinner of the 16th annual Janss event in the Sun Valley Inn’s Limelight Room.

Wiseman, who noted this is a big year of change in the SVSEF hierarchy, recognized Rob Clayton as his replacement as executive director. Wiseman and incoming chief Rob Clayton were teammates on the Powerball squad that placed fourth in the Janss Cup and third in the costume standings.

Clayton, a University of Vermont graduate and former Park City Ski Team head alpine coach, takes over for Wiseman July 1. He and his wife Krista have three daughters: Rebecca, 12; Sara, 11; and Elizabeth, 9.

The 2013 Janss was also a swan song for Kate Berman. SVSEF events director since 2001, Berman transformed the Janss Classic into what it is today. It calls itself the “best party on snow.” And few of the 200 participants disagreed.

Berman told Express writer Robin Sias in a recent interview, “When I first started doing the Janss, it was all about racing. I said to the board, ‘Don’t these skiers like to have fun? Don’t they want to dance and party? Where’s the party?’”

A primary SVSEF fundraiser, the Janss Pro Am provides one-third of the organization’s operating budget and is the largest contributor to the SVSEF financial aid program.

During Saturday’s awards celebration, Wiseman announced a bequest of $100,000 to the SVSEF from the estate of Thomas Unger, the former SVSEF board chairman who died of cancer in Seattle last July 20 at the age of 63.

The Janss is named for the late Bill Janss, former owner of Sun Valley Resort, Olympian, SVSEF supporter, ski and costume party enthusiast.

One of the SVSEF’s most successful fundraisers was title-sponsored by investment bank Stifel Nicolaus Weisel.

Proceeds from the Janss Pro Am help support 480 youth members of the SVSEF alpine, snowboard, freestyle and cross-country teams. The high school student-athletes who are part of the program posted a winter GPA of 3.44, and they achieved many competition awards.

See more photos in an upcoming Local Life edition.

Top overall teams for the 2013 Janss Cup were:

- First place—Arnold’s Bodybuilders with pro Jonna Mendes, junior pro Peter Wolter, Preston Sargent, Paul Wyckoff, John W. Bailey and Phebe Thorne.

- Second place—Roller Derby with pro Kyle Wieche, junior pro Keegan Webber, Dan Hunt, Trudi Schneider, Brad Matthews and Teresa Brett.

- Third place—Ski Tek Duck Hunters with pro Jan Hegewald, junior pro Eliza Marks, Chris Key, Julie Youngblood, Cameron Faulds and Irv Bier.

- Fourth place—Powerball with pro Karoline Droege, junior pro Alyssa Ritzel, Phillip Neeley, Rob Clayton, Don Wiseman and Jonathan Neeley.

The Speed Cup winners, truly a stacked deck, was the Parade of Nations team with pro Nick Maricich, junior pro Wyatt Minor, Robin Sarchett, Miles Fink-Debray, Steve Brown and David Chodounsky.

Other awards were:

- Best Crash: Cameron Leady (Sawtooth Club Suns) and Isabelle Lafferty (Clue)

- Most Inspirational: Riley Berman, Regan Wilson Nelson and Katie Wilson McBreen.

Once again, the teams did a bang-up job of dressing for the occasion, this year’s theme “Let the Games Begin.”

Here are winners for Best Costume prizes, voted upon by the teams. There were 21 teams nominated, according to 14th-year master of ceremonies and former pro ski racer Kevin Clarke from Fryeburg, Maine.

- First place, costumes—Pirate Games (Knob Hill Inn) with pro Ruben Macaya, junior pro Libby Kaiser, Brian Barsotti, Bill Cimino, John Gonzalez and Robert Cimino.

- Second place, costumes—Greek Goddess Gladiators (Main St. Market) with pro Langely McNeal, junior pro Claire Holzman, Bedford Nabors, Jane Reynolds, Kim Taylor and Karen Holzman.

- Third place, costumes—Powerball with pro Karoline Droege, junior pro Alyssa Ritzel, Phillip Neeley, Rob Clayton, Don Wiseman and SVSEF board president Jonathan Neeley.




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