For nearly twenty years, Founder Clint Lunde had a practice of “giving thanks” at the end of every ski day. Thankful to be in the mountains, alive and healthy, thankful for the amazing views and crisp mountain air, for the camaraderie of good ski friends and for the sheer joy of skiing itself. But while skiing in Lake Tahoe in 2009, he had a slow twisting fall that shattered his leg and ankle. It took a few minutes for the pain to subside, but within a short while he had accepted that the season was over. And while looking up at the blue sky and bright white clouds from his first toboggan ride down the mountain, searching for something to be thankful for that day… he set his intention to “find something good” from the injury.
The next several months while recovering from surgery, Clint kept mulling over whether he would still have been able to ski if the injury had been worse. He knew he would fully recover, but what about those who didn’t have the physical ability to ski, or snowboard, without help? Or the cognitive ability? Or the financial ability? He remembered living in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Reno and meeting so many adults who didn’t ski, even though it was in their back yard, because they had never skied as a child. What about KIDS who would never have the opportunity to experience the thrill and joy of skiing and snowboarding, simply because it’s too expensive? THAT’S when the idea for SkiDUCK was hatched, and Clint was on a mission!
A few months later, SkiDUCK had received charitable non-profit status approval from the IRS. On February 7, 2010, SkiDUCK took flight with its first on-slope event at Squaw Valley. In their first season SkiDUCK introduced about a hundred financially underprivileged and at-risk kids to their first day of FREE skiing or snowboarding. They’ve gradually grown each year, and SkiDUCK now works with dozens of youth groups and volunteers and several hundred kids to provide nearly 2,000 days of free skiing and snowboarding each season.
Clint now says that he’s extremely thankful that he fell and broke his ankle, otherwise SkiDUCK may never have come into existence. And he reminds others with injuries or going through difficulty, to “look for something good” to come from it. It may take a while, or you may even have to create it… but something good can come from almost any bad situation.
If your organization serving financially underprivileged, minority or at-risk youth would like to learn how to get involved with SkiDUCK, visit our Contact Us page… and let’s make some magic happen!