SOS celebrates 10th anniversary |

SOS celebrates 10th anniversary

Scott N. Miller

Back in 1994, Arn Menconi, currently an Eagle County commissioner, was a snowboard instructor and part-time real estate agent. Seeing both the sport’s potential and seeking a way to get people in the sport involved in their communities, he founded the Snowboard Outreach Society.

Menconi recalled that at the time, a group of Beaver Creek homeowners had started lobbying the resort company, then called Vail Associates, to ban boarders from their mountain.

“We started getting some real pejorative press,” Menconi recalled. “I thought to myself, “That’s not what I’m experiencing.’ We needed to capture snowboarding’s positives to give back to the community.”

A decade later, SOS has chapters in several states, with about 1,200 kids involved, most in the “Learn to Ride” program.

SOS volunteer Paul Steiner noted that learn-to-ride students have to be nominated, but the program is open to virtually anyone who’s interested. And, he pointed out, the program pays dividends.

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“Sometimes you don’t see it immediately, but you can see the difference when kids are proud of being in SOS,” he said.

To learn more about SOS programs, call the Avon office,


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