(IRON MOUNTAIN, MI)– The Kiwanis Ski Club is asking for the community’s help as the organization plans to make upgrades to the Pine Mountain Ski Jump in Dickinson County .
Since 2016 the International Ski Federation has been asking the group to make the upgrades possible for international ski jumping competitions. To date, phase one and two are complete and tonight the club initiated phase three of the project. The $2,000,000 project is called, ‘Soaring into the Future- FIS- Capital Improvement Campaign.’ Paul Bujold , Kiwanis Ski Club Treasurer, said, “FIS which is the European governing organization wants to make sure that all of the facilities that the ski jumpers jump at throughout the world, that there is consistency. And that from a safety perspective, they’re all the same.”
Remaining requirements from now through 2019 include:
-From Point P until outrun, find a safer solution for a safer landing area. Complete and Pending FIS Approval.
– Financing Campaign-Engineering of Phase 2 by 2017.
-Approve temporary certificate to host COC- February 2018.
-Distance between inrun guard rails in accordance to the norms. Width equal to 2.50 Meters.
-Provide for safe stairs with a length of 3 Meters.
-Construct a new stair tower on the side of the starting stairs.
-Install a warming room at the top of the stairs.
-Widen the start gate area in accordance with the norms.
-Construct an elevator (temporary-permanent) in 2019.
To date, $55,000 has been raised from 100 Women Who Care in Dickinson County and an anonymous donor. It is important to point out, if the monies needed are not attained by the date in 2019, and the safety issues addressed, FIS ski jumping at Pine Mountain will no longer be held.
The ski club, however, has learned it will need about $2 million to cover the remaining Pine Mountain work.
A new stair tower on the side of the starting stairs, a warming room atop the stairs, a wider start gate and a temporary or permanent elevator all need to be done by the 2019 tournament.
Horst Tielmann, FIS coordinator of the Continental Cup from 1969 to this year, sent a video message that was played at the Kiwanis Ski Club’s town hall meeting Tuesday at Pine Grove Country Club.
Tielmann said while the club has been an excellent partner to FIS, “the jumping facility is getting old” and “it needs some major improvements for the future” of FIS tournaments.
“I really hope the ski club and the city of Iron Mountain can fulfill these steps in the project. I really hope we can see Iron Mountain/Kingsford Kiwanis club fill the next 20 years on the FIS calendar,” Tielmann said.
One boost to the fundraising effort came in May, when the Internal Revenue Service reclassified the club as a 501(c)(4) organization.
“We are now qualified to receive tax-deductible gifts, so anybody who makes donations, whether you are an individual or a business, you can donate to the Kiwanis Ski Club and it is deductible for tax purposes” said Paul Bujold, Kiwanis Ski Club treasurer.
Some businesses in the past had been limited in making contributions because of the tax status, Bujold explained.
Recently the 100-Plus Women Who Care in Dickinson County donated almost $30,000, an anonymous donor from northeast Wisconsin contributed $25,000 and Bacco Construction donated $10,000 in construction services.
“Without the help of those organizations we wouldn’t have been able to get all the work that we got done this year, in addition to all the time and effort from the volunteers” Bujold said.
Dennis Larson, founder of the Veterans Memorial atop Pine Mountain, asked for support for what the ski club event brings to the region.
“This is a win-win for the community” he said. “It might not seem significant to a lot of people, but it really is the economy of our county of Dickinson. We support what the Kiwanis Ski Club is pursuing and they support what we are doing. We do it for the veterans and we do it for the community. Two million bucks is a lot of money and I know how difficult it is to raise money.”
The club is having an economic impact study done of the Continental Ski Jumping tournament for Dickinson County.
Bujold said the impact directly from the ski club is equal to at least $250,000, based on annual budget and expenditures.
“Dickinson County has a valuable resource that is utilized year-round,” Bujold said. “Pine Mountain and the Veterans Memorial is a vital tourist attraction.”
But if the club is not successful in raising the money, the ski jumping competition will not survive.
“Get the word out to everybody that we have a big challenge ahead of us if we want to continue to host FIS and Continental Ski Jumping in Dickinson County,” Bujold said.
To help support the Kiwanis Ski Club’s efforts, go to www.soaringintothefuture.org.