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Jess4Kids features new carnival event

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, Vernon, BC--Nordic racers head out on the trails at the start of the first annual JESS4KIDS Tips Up Cup held at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre on February 10, 2016. This annual ski race raises funds to help kids in the North Okanagan to cross country ski or snowshoe who otherwise can't afford to do so.
Image Credit: Jeff Bassett/JESS4KIDS
February 09, 2017 - 9:11 AM

VERNON, BC—When JESS4KIDS was established in 2012, just months after the sudden death of its namesake, Jessica Eaman, organizers hoped the fund would give a few youth the chance to experience the winter sport she was so passionate about: cross-country skiing.

Five years later, and the Jessica Eaman Ski Scholarship has brought dozens of young people—from new Canadians to the children of families in need—up to the magical place where she spent so much time racing, coaching and working--the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club. The  JESS4KIDS fund is mandated to provide cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities for children and youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity.

“It’s been amazing to see how JESS4KIDS has grown over the years, how sponsors have really embraced this cause, and what we’ve been able to give back to the community in Jessica’s memory,” says Jeff Bassett, Jess4Kids founding member, adding Eaman’s family and parents are touched by how their daughter’s legacy is living on, on the cross-country skis of so many little feet. Jessica Eaman died in March 2012 in a vehicle collision on Highway 97 between Vernon and Kelowna. Within weeks, the Jessica Eaman Ski Scholarship was established.

Thanks to generous corporate sponsorships and com munity donations, JESS4KIDS has also been able to support Vernon Nordic skier Hannah Mehain, a member of Canada’s national junior team. The scholarship funds help offset Mehain’s training and travel costs, and, in turn, Mehain recen  tly became the first  JESS4KIDS Ski Ambassador.

Two upcoming events will raise valuable dollars to support the fund’s mandate and an ever-growing list of requests from schools, groups and families for support to cover the cost of bussing as well as cross-country ski or snowshoe rentals and instruction at Sovereign.

The 5th annual JESS4KIDS Day takes place Feb. 11, 2017 at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre. This Vernon Winter Carnival event features the longstanding and highly anticipated Tips Up Cup (a race with costumes encouraged), and the new corporate challenge pledge relay (a fun, four-person event which sees two on skis and two on snowshoes; Carnival-themed costumes also encouraged!). The Tips Up Cup kicks off with registration at 8:30 am, and the corporate challenge begins at 11 am with advance registration at   www.J4KChallenge.com .

The day also includes the start of a silent auction, the sale of hot drinks and baked goods, a bonfire and face-painting. Corporations able to donate to the silent auction will also have the chance to be recognized publicly throughout the year.

To learn more about Jess4Kids, inquire about sponsoring silent auction items or to make a donation, visit www.sovereignlake.com/programs/jess4kids-fund.

If you have any further questions please contact me Jeff Bassett at jess4kids@sovereignlake.com  or 250.308.4818


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