In 2009 a small group of young people – age twenty-something – put on its first snowboard competition in Beaver Creek. This was not a race for a medal, but rather a race to see who could raise the most money for breast cancer that would then be donated to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group (VBCAG).
And so began, Love for the Ladies Rail Jam, (LFTL), hosted by Beaver Creek Resort Co. and founded by Justine Nadherny, whose mother, Andrea Francis, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Assisted by Rich Staats of Secret Stache Media, a local boutique web strategy group, the event got most of its first entries through social media – its website, Facebook and Twitter.
“We created this LFTL as a token of support and a platform for awareness for all those affected by the disease,” says Nadherny. “There weren’t any options for young people to get involved in any fun activities to help the community. It was nice to give people what they wanted. This gave them an opportunity to help. It was really great to see how enthusiastic everyone was about this new event.”
The jam consists of three snowboarders and skiers rallying through the terrain park on Beaver Creek Mountain dressed in themed costumes. With team names like “George of the Juggies,” “Cancer Busters” and “Scooby Booby Doo,” the day is a source of exhilaration for the spectators as well as the racers. Registration is $150 per team, with only $50 due at time of online registration.
Per insurance requirements, the minimum age for a competitor is eight years old.
The groups who sign up on the website race each other to raise the most money through donations from corporate sponsors, family and friends, prior to the event.
“With a minimum of one lady on a team and the shredders costumed out in themed décor, this day of unity seeks to create many good laughs and great times remembered forever,” says Staats, who took the reins when Nadherny moved to New York.
In the past three years LFTL has donated over $30,000 to the VBCAG.
Nadherny’s mother died on September 2, 2010, yet Nadherny bravely attended the 2011 event in her mother’s memory.
Says Staats, “Andrea Francis left our earth, but never our hearts.”
To volunteer for LFTL or to register for the spring event (date to be announced), go to www.lovefortheladies.com