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Ishpeming Ski Club most deserving of community support

It’s important to remember what a big part skiing and other sports have played in this area’s history. After all, Ishpeming is the birthplace of skiing in North America and is home to the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

So we hope the public steps up to support the Ishpeming Ski Club, which is working through problems caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The club was forced to postpone the 134th Annual Ski Jumping Tournament, which had been scheduled Jan. 21, but now plans to hold the event, and is conducting a fundraising campaign to make up for financial losses.

The club — which has rescheduled the tournament for March 6-7 — developed a comprehensive plan to host a junior tournament. Top priority is the safety of athletes, their families, club staff and the community.

The March event will be a junior tournament, although it’s not officially labeled as such, Peter Copenhaver, vice president of the ISC, said for a story that appeared in Tuesday’s paper.

“We don’t want to miss a consecutive year,” Copenhaver said of the 134th annual event.

There will be no foreign or national skiers because of COVID-19 restrictions. The junior participants will come from Central Division Ski Jumping, which includes clubs in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They will compete on the 13-, 25-, 40- and 60-meter hills.

In keeping with Michigan COVID-19 protocol, the ISC has decided to forego public spectators at the event held at the Suicide Ski Bowl in Ishpeming but the K90 ski jumping hill, also known as Suicide Hill — will not be prepared for the competition due to the limited availability of athletes.

The proceeds generated from the tournament are the primary source of funding for the Ishpeming Ski Club, which is a non-profit organization. Lost revenue from this year’s competition will place a serious financial hardship on the organization.

Adding to the strain is the club said it had been making major mandated updates to ISC facilities and operational programming prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ISC has organized a comprehensive fundraising effort to help offset the financial burden during what it called “this exceptional time of need” and asks the community to support its youth ski programs, trails and facility updates. Copenhaver noted that the ISC, which is run by volunteers, provides subsidized and free programs to kids.

Anyone interested in making a donation may visit these links:

≤ ishskiclub.com/donations;

≤ facebook.com/Ishskiclub; and

≤ instagram.com/ishskiclub/

Please help if you are able.

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