As young ski racers who belong to the Lightning Creek Ski Club (LCSC) anxiously await snow so they can start training at Troll Ski Resort, the club’s volunteers are celebrating another year of financial support from New Gold Inc.
The New Gold Inc. Blackwater Project, a proposed open-pit gold and silver mine located 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, has a community sponsorship program, and this is the second year it has sponsored the ski club at the bronze level.
When asked why it is important for New Gold to support local communities, Ryan Todd, the director of the Blackwater Project, says: “Everywhere we operate, we are working with our host communities, employees and contractors to build a prosperous future. We strive to be a significant social and economic contributor to the communities where we live and work. We believe our commitments to environmental and social responsibility not only benefit our local communities but also are directly translated into value for our shareholders.
“We understand that our continued success and shared prosperity depend on our ability to earn the welcome of our host communities and regions – a welcome that comes from our demonstrated respect for local culture, care and concern for the environment, and support for the long-term economic well-being of local communities.
“Through our Community Sponsorship program we try to invest beyond traditional charitable donations to strategic and social investments that create long-term benefits in our host communities. Through this program, we strive to help organizations create meaningful and lasting positive changes.”
LCSC president Falko Kadenbach says the club is very grateful for sponsorships like this.
“We really rely on our sponsors,” he said while accepting a $1,000 cheque from New Gold Inc. community relations advisor Val Erickson. “We have a variety of sponsors and ways we fund our club.”
LCSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the sport of alpine skiing and to the development of alpine ski racing skills. The Club provides its members with high-quality, professional coaching along with the opportunity to compete in local north zone, inter-zone, and provincial races.
Governed by a volunteer board of directors, the club has two paid coaches. Program fees are not enough to cover the total costs to operate the club, so it relies heavily on volunteers and fundraising, according to LCSC’s website.
Based at Troll Resort near Wells, the Lightning Creek Ski Club offers two levels of ski racing instruction to skiers aged five to 16. The season begins in September with dryland training for the Alpine team and the Nancy Greene athletes. On-snow training begins in late November or early December through to April, conditions permitting.
Kadenbach says the club applies for provincial gaming grants each year and has received a Quesnel Community Foundation grant, and this funding helps with capital investments and helps cover the costs of the club’s two paid coaches. Much of the club’s work is based on volunteer time, and they have a great pool of volunteers. Corporate sponsorship enables the club to add a little more, such as gates and fences, he explained.
“We are very happy about having corporate sponsors like New Gold,” he said.
“Carrying on with resource development in this region is crucial to clubs like ours to operate.”