Executive MBA students pulled on their skis for charity during the weekend of December 11th and 12th, 2010 for the 10th annual ‘24 Hours of Tremblant’ competition held at Mont-Tremblant Resort in Quebec.
A team from the Telfer Executive MBA at the University of Ottawa participated for the second consecutive year in eastern North America’s biggest fundraising ski event. The team consisted of Executive MBA alumni, staff, current students and friends.
The Telfer team left more than just their tracks in the snow. The fourteen-person team raised over $7,000 in donations to help sick and underprivileged children. The proceeds will go to three foundations: the Fondation centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, the Ottawa Senators Foundation and the Tremblant Foundation.
The decision to enter a team came from a school project. The students became aware of the event in 2009 after completing a project with the Ottawa Senators Foundation. The marketing project requires students to work for a not-for-profit organization with the goal of giving back to their community while gaining insight into the marketing challenges faced by these charitable organizations. Attending the ski event provided the students with the special benefit of understanding the impact an organization like the Ottawa Senators Foundation can make and how important it is to support them.
The twenty four consecutive hour race allows for one team member to be on the downhill track at a time. Skiers can transition on and off the hill at anytime and as often as they wish over the twenty-four hour period. Teams can register in one of two different categories; the performance category with the goal of the skiing the fastest lap or participation where the highest number of runs in 24 hours establishes rank.
The race began under bright skies. Team captains, including Telfer’s Francois Robert, raced to the chairlifts at noon on Saturday. The Telfer members skied for a one or two-hour period before passing the racing bib to their next teammate. The younger teammates volunteered for the long night shifts much to the relief of some of the more experienced Telfer participants.
The event wasn’t just for skiers. Entertainment was widespread throughout the Mont-Tremblant village. A crowd of spectators were ringing bells, whistles and other noisemakers from the sidelines as skiers pushed through the gates. Concerts were scheduled for Friday and Saturday night adding to excitement of the weekend. Musical talent included such artist as David Usher, Florence K, Dumas, Jonas and Les Cowboys Fringants.
Skiers had to battle the elements towards the end of the race as snow and high winds caused low visibility in the later hours of Sunday morning. The winds caused the coordinators to shut down the track at one point to ensure the safety of the skiers. The skiers outlasted the winds in the end and crossed the snow-covered finish line during the twenty-fourth hour.
About ‘24 Hours of Tremblant’:
Since its debut in 2001, thanks to the vision of Jacques Villeneuve, Barbara and Craig Pollock of Formula Charity, the 24h of skiing today, is now at its peak! More than 6.2 million dollars has been raised in past years to benefit multiple charities, all with the same goal of helping sick and underprivileged children. The 24h of skiing established a new record in 2010, raising the amount of $1,857,268 for a cumulative total of $8,137,484 since the event’s inception in 2001.