McConkey Foundation Donates Big Bucks to Charity
Combine big personalities with big mountains and a mission to laugh hard in the name of charity and you’ve got the Pain McShlonkey Classic (PMS), held March 23-24, 2012 at Squaw Valley. In its second year, this Shane McConkey Foundation (SMF) signature event brought the winter sports community together to celebrate the life of pro skier Shane McConkey. And in true “go big” McConkey style, the event raised big bucks for causes that he cared about.
With support from Squaw Valley, Redbull, GoPro, Oakley, K2, Santa Cruz, Marker and countless other donors, volunteers and athletes, the Shane McConkey Foundation will donate over $37,000 to the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Make-A-Wish Foundation and other local non-profits.
In continued support of their environmental sustainability programs, SMF will donate $20,000 to Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD). Last year’s $20,000 donation was matched by the District’s PTO and SMF is hopeful that the funds will be matched again in 2012. “We’re so excited to see the students, parents and the faculty be so enthusiastic about greening our schools,” says SMF Founder Sherry McConkey. “It’s our goal that TTUSD will continue to support and build momentum for environmental stewardship throughout all of our schools. We would love to see Shane’s influence help inspire positive action for future generations everywhere.”
SMF will also donate $15,000 to Make-A-Wish Foundation, a cause close to Shane’s heart. In 2002, a high school cancer patient from Maine expressed his wish to ski at Squaw Valley with Shane McConkey. Shane worked with Make-A-Wish and other Squaw Valley pro skiers to fulfill the dream. “It was beyond cool to ski with Shane,” said Adam Baillargeon. “His humor, his antics and ultimately his friendship were the biggest gift of all.” Baillargeon survived the ordeal and was so inspired by the experience he ultimately moved to North Tahoe. Now a regular competitor at the Pain McShlonkey Classic, Baillargeon says, “As a former Make-A-Wish recipient, I often pinch myself in disbelief that the full circle reciprocity is possible. Shane would be stoked to see the world become a better place through the events held in his name. “
To spread the love a little further, SMF will donate $2,000 to the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe along with a $500 donation to the Truckee Pump Track Project.
This PMS weekend and overall fundraising effort would not have been possible without the support that Squaw Valley has shown SMF in recognition of Shane’s legacy. “It’s an honor to support the efforts of the Shane McConkey Foundation and their group of outstanding volunteers,” said Andy Wirth, President and CEO of Squaw Valley. “This Foundation’s work in the region is impactful and speaks to the values of our company, staff and the community as a whole. It means that much more that all of this work is done within the context of Shane McConkey, one of the most remarkable and legendary skiers in the history of the sport.” Keeping in step with the humorous nature of the Pain McShlonkey Classic, Wirth commented, “It’s not since my days up in Vancouver, Canada that I’ve seen so many mullets – in some cases, a few of them real.”
Olympian Daron Rahlves said, “I’m honored to be part of such a fun event that brings together the community celebrating the spirit of Shane, his legacy and at the same time making a difference for our youth, the environment and fulfilling dreams.” Winner of the coveted Golden Saucer trophy, Rahlves laughs, “I felt on top of the world to grab the title of fastest snowblader on the planet.”
Rachael Burks, pro skier and winner of the women’s Extreme Small Mountain Invitational said, “There are a lot of amazing people in Tahoe that care a great deal about the Shane McConkey Foundation. It was an honor to be a part of the event this year. In all honesty, there is nothing like the Pain McShlonkey Classic out there. The event is much more extreme than anything I’ve ever competed in. Thanks to Sherry and everyone that made the event not only a blast, but extraordinarily successful as well.”
“I cannot express how amazing it is to be part of such a generous and supportive community. As a Foundation, SMF is still very young so it’s been remarkable to give back so much in Shane’s honor. He would be really proud,” says Sherry McConkey.