Snowboarding to fight breast cancer
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Avon resident Nash Pillsbury waited patiently as a friend pinned a pink ribbon onto his snowboarding helmet.
“Hold on ” this is almost like we’re going to prom,” he joked.
With his corsage-like ribbon firmly in place, Pillsbury was ready to hit the Lumberyard terrain park on Beaver Creek Mountain.
He was among 69 people who competed in the Love for the Ladies rail jam Saturday morning. Clad in sombreros, bunny ears and other costumes, skiers and snowboarders showed off their skills for a good cause.
Avon snowboarder Justine Nadherny, 21, organized the event
to raise awareness about breast cancer.
“Every year, the age of people diagnosed with breast cancer is getting younger and younger,” she said. “It’s not just 40-year-olds. It’s women in their 30s and 20s.”
Nadherny is all too familiar with the disease.
Four years ago, she discovered her mother, Andrea Francis, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was very, very scared because my grandmother passed away from it,” Nadherny said. “And the worst thing does go through your mind.”
Francis continues to fight her cancer with the help of a new drug that is part of a clinical trial.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Francis said. “I’ve got a daughter who’s full of (enthusiasm). I want to see what she gets up to in this life.”
As of Saturday afternoon, the rail jam had raised nearly $4,000 for the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group in Eagle County. Nadherny hoped to boost that figure to $10,000 by the end of the night.
Twenty-three teams composed of three people each competed in the rail jam. Each team included at least one woman and raised $150 to enter the contest. Nadherny teamed up with Beaver Creek Resort and sponsors such as Volcom to provide equipment and prizes for the event.
Boarders got creative with their team names. Pillsbury was part of a group of 30- to 40-year-old men calling themselves The Geriatrics. Adam Heath, an Avon snowboarder sporting a sombrero, was part of The Triple D’s, who had a Tres Amigos theme.
Even more entertaining than the names were the tricks. Avon resident Jeff Ball, 31, landed a backflip off a picnic table. His team, which included Stafford Turner and Christy Brown, took first place in the contest.
“I just love riding the Beav’ every day,” Ball said. “It’s a good group of guys ” a lot of fun. I’ll ride for nothing, but when you’re riding for the ladies, it’s extra good.”