Summit County mans ski photography supports suicide prevention
BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado When Casey Days childhood pal J.T. Fielder committed suicide in 2006, it devastated a tight-knit group of friends dedicated to a love of backcountry skiing.Both Day and Fielder were part of the Front Range Powder Factory, a 10-year-old group of high-school friends who created a website to display their photos and videos of their backcountry endeavors.After the death of Fielder, the son of famed Colorado landscape photographer John Fielder, Day and his friends turned the operation into a nonprofit group to focus their fundraising efforts on supporting mental-health organizations.Their first major fundraiser was a calendar dedicated to Fielder, which raised more than $12,000, primarily for youth-oriented mental-health organizations.With the loss of our friend … we changed our mission to try to raise awareness for depression and suicide and break the stigmatism of suicide, the 28-year-old Day said. Ive dedicated my time to try to raise money for local mental-health organizations mostly in the Denver and Boulder area.Born and raised in Colorado a state that claims one of the highest suicide rates in the nation Day recognizes that depression and suicide are common afflictions, and he wants to help raise awareness for treatment options.Its hard to go to school (in Colorado) without knowing someone who has taken their life, Day said. … I wanted to try to give back to the community as much as I could, and what I excel at the most right now is my ski photography. I wanted to use that in a way that I could raise money.Days photographs have been published in Skiing Magazine and Telemark Skier Magazine this season. He also shoots photos for Arapahoe Basin as well as some other local ski areas.Its always been a hobby of mine, said Day, who has a long history of involvement in the ski industry building, designing, testing skis, and ski cinematography and photography.His hobby now is being realized as his profession.Ive always taken direction from my passions, Day said. I havent really been willing to settle for jobs outside my interest base. … I dont last very long in a 9-to-5 day job…. If you can tie in your work to your passions, to your hobbies, then youll be that much more successful in your work.When hes not on a hut trip or hiking the backcountry, Day works in Frisco at the Colorado Activities Center, producing travel guides to promote Colorado.After graduation from Alberta College of Art and Design in Canada, Day worked as a professional glassblower. He still creates decorative pieces like vases, bowls, small candle holders and commission work at the Gatherhouse Studio in Frisco.Day, an expert telemark skier who has lived throughout Colorado and in Canada and Australia, skis all-year round and competes occasionally. He also supplements his summer skiing by guiding raft trips.For the calendars, he shoots the photos and designs and produces the pages, and his friends help distribute them.The 2009 version is available for $15, and 100 percent of the proceeds support local Colorado suicide prevention and mental-health programs, including the Second Wind Fund, the Carson J. Spencer Foundation and the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado.To order by phone, please call Sarah KIingelheber at (303) 549-3877 or Casey Day at (303) 921-5000.Calendars are also available at Summit County stores: Mountain Outfitters, The Photo Shop, Webers Books & Drawings, Charter Sports at the Marriott in Breck, Arapahoe Basin Sports, Wilderness Sports, Gatherhouse Studio and The Next Page Bookstore.For more information about the Front Range Powder Factory or the calendar, visit http://www.powderfactory.com.Where to get Days photo calendarTo order by phone, please call Sarah KIingelheber at (303) 549-3877 or Casey Day at (303) 921-5000Calendars are also available at Summit County stores: Mountain Outfitters, The Photo Shop, Webers Books & Drawings, Charter Sports at the Marriott in Breck, Arapahoe Basin Sports, Wilderness Sports, Gatherhouse Studio and The Next Page Bookstore.For more information about the Front Range Powder Factory or the calendar, visit http://www.powderfactory.com.