Vail Valley’s SOS celebrates 15th season |

Vail Valley’s SOS celebrates 15th season

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photoAn SOS instructor works with a group of snowboarders on Vail Mountain in Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” SOS Outreach, a Vail Valley, Colorado-based nonprofit, will celebrate its 15th season of helping kids participate in outdoor sports Saturday by honoring local developer Bob Hernreich and Vail Resorts with awards for their contributions.

The ceremony takes place at 1 p.m. at the base of Beaver Creek’s Centennial Chair Lift. Hernreich will receive the humanitarian award for an individual and Vail Resorts will receive the award for corporate social responsibility.

About 150 students in SOS’s university program will be in attendance for the awards presentation.

Vail Valley-based SOS Outreach tries to help kids do better in school by teaching them to ski and snowboard. SOS operates in eight states, more than 40 resorts, and activities from snowshoeing to rock climbing and camping.

SOS has a multi-year University program, which helps build leadership skills and fosters character development. A number of SOS students who have graduated from the program return to help mentor younger students.

“We’re thanking Vail Resorts for being the leader in winter sports and in giving back so that future generations can participate,” said Arn Menconi, executive director of SOS. “Vail has given to SOS Outreach for more than a dozen years through cash grants, rentals, transportation, and employee time, from instructors to the season pass office. We would not be where we are today without their support.”

Menconi also said that through SOS Outreach’s programs, more minorities are exposed to the sport.

“Right now the sport is less than 5 percent minority, and half the kids under the age of 21 come from diverse backgrounds,” he said. “We’re 10 years away from having an American population being 50 percent minority. Vail Resorts understands this and is trying to be a model for what the wintersports industry needs to be doing.”

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