A letter from board member, Matt Whitcomb
Dear U.S. Skiing Community,
On behalf of the NNF Board of Directors, I’d like to express our appreciation for your role in making the grassroots Drive for 25 a grand slam. Support from our ski community included allowance money from a seven-year-old, a donation from an athlete on Estonia’s National Team, and a contribution from the head women’s coach of Norway, Ole Morten Iversen. In five days, this community effort raised north of $100,000, and saw numbers on the long side of 1,200 individual donors rising in support of young, American athletes.
To explain a bit of what goes on behind the scenes, the NNF board of directors was offered a challenge this fall: If our board could raise $100,000 before November 22, separate of the Drive for 25, the Halvorsen Family Foundation would match with an additional $100,000. This quick, pre-D25 effort was successful because of the generosity of 31 individuals, and the Halvorsen Family Foundation. This generosity allowed us to create our two community challenges for the Drive for 25: one of raising 100K during the five-day drive, and the other, of exceeding 1,000 donors. Success in each goal would unlock our previously raised money to spend on skiing. It’s my pleasure to announce that we were successful in achieving both goals. The Drive for 25 totals pushed beyond $300,000. We hope everyone enjoyed this condensed, five-day drive. Of course, we’ll leave the donation page open for a bit in case anyone is still working their connections!
Our goal at NNF is not to fully-fund any of our pillar projects, but to make them affordable. This way, our top young athletes who are willing to do the hard training, will never leave the sport because of money. At the top of our sport in the U.S.—the U.S. Ski Team’s A and B teams—athlete travel, training camps, and racing expenses are covered. The National Nordic Foundation, working both independently, and occasionally alongside the U.S. Ski Team, drops the ladder down from those funded rungs, and cheers kids on as they climb.
Your U.S. World Cup team is now in the air, between Kuusamo and Oslo, with its techs somewhere below, driving the wax truck along the Baltic Sea. I look back on the opening World Cup weekend of racing and smile. We had four athletes in the top-10, and seven in the top-20. But what stands out most prominently, is a ski community that came together with powerful energy, in support of the kids trying to be on this tour someday. What just happened last week will help fuel U.S. skiing for the next year. Thank you.
NNF Board of Directors
U.S. Ski Team Head Coach