Ski Hall launches endowment fund

The United States Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum is launching an endowment fund to help secure the financial future of the Ishpeming-based organization. Starting with an initial $200,000, the endowment fund will help keep the hall of fame in Ishpeming for the foreseeable future. (Journal file photo)


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — The United States Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum in Ishpeming has launched an endowment fund in an effort to provide financial stability for the Upper Peninsula’s only national museum.

The fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Marquette County. The intent is to preserve museum archives as well as help to build long-term funding to support the USSSHOF.

The endowment is part of the ski hall’s newly launched Legacy Giving Circle Program.

The program allows the USSSHOF to accept bequests, estate-planned gifts and building naming opportunities at the Ishpeming museum.

“Like any nonprofit organization, we need to be prepared for posterity. We need to be financially secure long-term,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Executive Director Justin Koski. “An endowment will provide that, plus give the opportunity for local, regional and Michigan-based organizations, foundations and trusts to participate in supporting us financially.”

The endowment is starting out with $200,000 and is comprised of two donations from USSSHOF board members Brian Fairbank and Dave Holli.

Fairbank is the chairman of the hall of fame’s national board of directors and is a 2021 inductee to the hall.

“Since our establishment in 1956, we have inducted 467 individuals to our Hall of Fame, all of whom’s legendary stories reside in the museum that houses over 18,000 related artifacts in Ishpeming,” said Fairbank. “We will use the initial $200,000 to raise matching donations and the dividends from this investment to help fund the ever-increasing operational costs to run the organization and ensure we keep the legacy alive in Ishpeming and provide structure for generations to come.”

Holli is a skiing heritage enthusiast and a long-time board member.

“The intent of opening an endowment is that we need to provide our donors a platform to move from the sidelines to getting into the action,” Holli said. “We have $200,000 of potential matching funds and if we can get others to step up right now and invest in this endowment, it can provide us with a solid financial footing long into the future.”

Although the hall of fame is a local institution, over recent years the majority of funding has come from outside of the area.

“In 1995, 90% or more of our support came from Marquette County alone,” Koski said. “That dropped to only 3% in the entire U.P. Michigan is 13th on the list of 50 states where our support comes from.”

Information about how to donate to the endowment can be found online at www.skihall.com.

“We appreciate the support of everyone that has helped us and we hope that we can keep this thing alive and moving forward,” Koski said. “It takes a village to pitch in. You can support financially through membership.”

Randy Crouch can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His email address is rcrouch@miningjournal.net.


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