You guys. It’s happening. It’s all happening.
The air has shifted. Colors are changing. Flights are being booked. The fall is upon us, which means that winter is upon us which can only mean one thing:
September will from now on be referred to as $eptember, because, like the artist formerly known as Ke$ha, it’s all about dat bling. Dat bling embodied by the shining medals we’ve worked towards all summer that still rest in the gleaming, newly ephemeral lives of our goals and dreams. Dat bling that, despite the romanticism and purity of our sport, rely on the other kind of bling. The kind with a dollar sign. You get it.
Each year, $eptember hosts the annual SMS T2 Skiathon: the perfect combination of intensity and insanity to not only represent our sport, but gain a lot of attention and donors along the way. This year, the event will take place on the 29th of $eptember, giving me several weeks to court you (and your wallet) and show why we’re worth the donation.
We’ll start here and now with some frequently asked questions, then a section where I ask you a question, then we can all go home feeling inspired and motivated to change the world.
Why give to SMS T2? My team is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit (#taxdeductibe) that focuses on athletic outreach in communities all across the US (in addition to high level racing). That means that when we’re not training or racing, we’re volunteering with kids and adults, building playgrounds, hosting clinics, clearing bike trails and visiting schools.
Sure, but why do you need the money? Between training full time all summer, racing during the season and all that volunteering, we don’t exactly have time for day jobs. Unlike other countries, our great nation does not have government funding to national team programs, and grant and sponsorship money is slim, so we’re on our own for personal funding.
When you contribute to SMS T2, you allow the team to pay for training and travel expenses (read: food, shelter) as well as racing costs (entry fees, race wax, care and feeding of coach Pat O’Brien). When we have these covered, we have more time and energy to commit to the mission of the team: community outreach (everybody wins!)
Don’t you have sponsors for this kind of thing? Hey, man! I’m working on it. Elite racing can cost up to $50,000 a year per athlete, a sum covered by sponsorships, grants, bartering and (petty) (legal) favors. A donation from you could mean one more athlete saying “no” to carrying the black briefcase through the airport for a hot meal and five bucks. (That said, readers with businesses looking to sponsor an enthusiastic athlete with a blog and questionable morals concerning black briefcases, inquire within).
I’m sold. How do I donate? I thought you’d never ask. You can donate through my site here or my team’s website here or, if you’re old fashioned, you can make out a check to The Elite Nordic Fund and send it to:
07 World Cup Circle
Stratton Mountain, VT 05155
One more question. Sure. What’s in it for me? You mean aside from the warm fuzzies (and tax deductions) you feel from feeding an athlete, fueling Olympic dreams and saving the children? Yes. Do I, like, get a hat or something? If you donate over $250, yes I will give you a hat. But, for those otherwise financially inclined who want to help but also want something in return, I will once again offer the best gift I can possibly conceive: my dignity.
Last year, I promised that if I met my fundraising goal, I would learn a dance and dance it across the world. Chaos and rhythm ensued, this was the product:
This year, I want to do it again. But this time, I want to make it bigger, better, $a$$ier (also with better video editing, I’m looking into it). Here’s where you come in, what do you want to see?
Of course, if you have better (legal) (family friendly) ideas of your own, comment! I’m open minded!