Ski the Trails is a story of a friendly competition that became a fundraiser. Two doctors challenged people to ski because they care about local healthcare.
Six years ago, Dr. Phil Dopp and Dr. Jamie Curran, dared each other to ski all the trails at Hiawatha Highlands. Each of them met the challenge, (which is no small feat at 34 kilometers!) and were left wanting more. Inspired by their achievement, they set a new goal: why not motivate others and turn their passion for skiing and healthcare into a fundraiser for their community hospital?
In 2011, on what Dr. Dopp says was “the worst day of that winter,” they hosted the first Ski the Trails event. After collecting pledges and skiing the Hiawatha trails the pair raised $6,000. Now in its sixth year, the annual event has grown to include community sponsors, a pancake breakfast and has raised $85,000 for all our local care.
Unlike other athletic events, Ski the Trails is not a race. That’s what sets it apart. It’s a challenge. The concept is simple: how far you can ski? Participants of all ages and levels are encouraged to strive for a new personal best in distance or time. Reach higher to support our local healthcare.
“Ski, snowshoe, ride your fat bike, just get outside and push the limits,” says Dr. Curran. “It’s a long winter, if you don’t find something to keep you busy.” Fundraising is a challenge, and these two physicians are keenly aware of the big job facing the SAHF. Healthcare providers need the proper equipment to do their jobs and provide great care. But equipment, like the anesthetic gas monitors that their department purchased twelve years ago, comes with a hefty price tag. Funds raised at the event are necessary because provincial funding does not cover equipment costs.
“With Ski the Trails we can bring awareness and support an important cause,” said Dr. Dopp “all while doing something we love.” We ski because iCcare.