2017-2018 Volunteer Orientation and Training Dates Announced

June 26th, 2017

Volunteering with Ignite is a fun, rewarding and life-changing experience!

  • Are you looking to bring purpose to your free time on the mountain?
  • Are you an intermediate or better snowboarder or skier?
  • Do you want to share your love for the mountain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, come to a Volunteer Orientation and Training session!

Upcoming Volunteer Orientation and Training. One session is mandatory:

  • Wednesday October 18th at 6-8PM, Boulder JCC, Levin Hall, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303
  • Tuesday October 24th at 6-8PM, Boulder JCC, Levin Hall, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303
  • Saturday October 28th at 9AM-11AM, Boulder JCC, Levin Hall, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Memorial Information for David Levin

May 15th, 2017

It is with deep sadness that I inform you that Ignite President and longtime volunteer David Levin has passed away.

For more than 20 years, Ignite has been a huge part of David’s life. Every week you would see him at WHQ with a smile and a willingness to do what it takes to give “that lesson”.

He also served on the Board of Directors and, for the past several years, as our Board President. He took that role as the board president seriously; leading us to create and implement a strategic plan; working to ensure that the relationship with Eldora Mountain Resort is strong and will continue to flourish and develop for years to come; and working tirelessly to ensure that Ignite has the resources to execute our mission effectively.

In all of my years of working in nonprofits, I have met thousands of individuals with a passion and dedication for the work they do — and in my book — Ignite volunteers are the cream of the crop and David exemplified an Ignite volunteer.

I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to work with David — his passion and dedication to Ignite volunteers and students always shone brightly. He will be missed.

The family will have a memorial this Thursday, May 18th at 5:45 p.m. at the Boulder Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO, 80303 (off Arapahoe and Cherryvale). Please join us in honoring David.

With Gratitude,

Carol Nickell
Executive Director of Ignite

“My Hero Brother” Screening Dedicated to David Levin

February 28th, 2017

Volunteers and Supporters – we need you! Please help Ignite and the Boulder JCC honor our very own President of the Board David Levin at the screening of “My Hero Brother” on Thursday, March 16 at 7:00 pm – The Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St.

Volunteers – please wear your Ignite jacket, shirt,. or name tag!

Get tickets

More info

As Lives Change… Ignite Changes Lives

February 12th, 2017

By Drew Prinster

Melanie is a former English teacher, current bi-skier, and future skydiver–but above all, she’s a lifetime adventurer. Her multiple sclerosis severely limits her motor control and speech abilities, but when she’s on the slopes and strapped into her bi-ski, she can go anywhere and inspire anyone.

Melanie tried her first bi-skiing escapade over five years ago when a family member from Estes convinced her to fly out to the Colorado mountains from her home in Chicago. The on-slope wind chill was a blistering -40°F, but even the arctic temperatures couldn’t dull that first day’s adrenaline rush. She was hooked.

Since then, Melanie and her husband Bob have resettled in Estes largely for the access to the Colorado ski slopes and Ignite’s quality instructors. Training was slow at first. She’d ski in intervals of 20 feet between instruction stops, but every 20 feet was 20 feet of freedom. Right away, Bob recognized Ignite as an outlet that “gave her options; she didn’t have to sit in her wheelchair, she didn’t have to be inside, she could actually participate in life.”

Many of Melanie’s fondest memories at Ignite are moments culminating from long-term growth, such as when she first tackled Mule Shoe, one of Eldora’s longest and steepest expert level runs. At other times, however, she’s just along the ride at the trustworthy hands of her longtime instructor Jason. During one of Eldora’s biggest snowfall years, for instance, Jason steered Melanie through moguls that Bob describes as “huge, probably four feet high, and it was like boom boom I could see their heads popping in and out of the bumps.” That exhilaration is what Melanie lives for.

“Melanie doesn’t like anything as much as she enjoys skiing,” Bob says. She usually starts thinking about it around July. She’s tried indoor skydiving and she’s looking into adaptive water skiing to satisfy her excitement craving in the warmer months, but it’s the consistency and care of the Ignite program that she values. She ends every day “grinning ear to ear,” Bob recalls with a hearty chuckle. And today is no different. As Bob lifts his wife from her sit-ski and cradles her thin frame, you can see it on Melanie’s face. A radiant smile, and two steady, gleaming eyes that are already looking forward to next time.

Who Wants a Ginger Ale?

January 13th, 2017

By Drew Prinster

Oriah is a sweet 6-year-old girl with a bright smile and a contagious laugh despite her difficulty hearing. She loves the new Disney movie “Moana” as much as she loves cheetahs. She started out this year skiing at Ignite with the help of tethers and what she affectionately calls a “thing-a-majig,” a modified bungee cord that keeps the tips of her skis together. On her second day, however, she wanted to challenge herself.

At the top of the first slope, she chose to go without tethers, and soon after she was taking the lead, could turn and stop without the “thing-a-majig,” and improved her balance technique when her instructors told her to imagine carrying a tray with cups of ginger ale down the mountain. She was excited for adventure, and wanted to tackle challenges like Fun Gulley and the rollers at the Tenderfoot Terrain Park.

When asked about her favorite parts about skiing, she said “exercise,” “stopping,” or simply “skiing.” Next time she’s at Ignite, she wants to work on “the ski lift!” because “it’s fun, and you get to take a ride.”

As rapidly as Oriah is progressing, she only wants the same for others. Her advice to any kids like her thinking about skiing with Ignite is to “be listening” and “be polite to trainers so that they help you … so they’ll take you skiing. And you want to go skiing, I bet.”

Equipment Has Started for the Season!

November 15th, 2016


Greetings all! As the season approaches the Equipment Manager and several Equipment Technicians and volunteers have been busy.

In early November we spent a day to binding test all alpine fleet skis. We have brought in 25 new Alpine boots, (old boots are available for instructors who need them), along with 15 new helmets. Very exciting, the Sandy Lewarton Memorial bi ski has arrived, the Dynamique-bi-ski. It is a beautiful machine with all the latest technology and features. Photo above.

Annual Deck Repair

A day of deck repairs were done as well in November.

Last week 40 new pairs of Alpine skis arrived which we have mounted and cued up for binding tests. With this replacement plan, most of our Rossingnol ski’s have been taken out of the fleet. Good new for instructors, if you need that short pair of skis for teaching, or your kiddos need skis, we are selling those. They have all been tested so are ready to go do some sliding! Adult skis are being sold for $25.00, youth skis $15.00.

We spent an afternoon reorganizing the fleet but still need need an afternoon to perform binding tests on the new arrivals. We held our first Binding certification clinic and have another one cued up so we will ready for the season.

Still awaiting the Nordic equipment and a new Mountain Man Bi Ski. The new Mountain Man will have the same new shock system as the green one we already have, (the 2 green ones do not need to pressurized, all other Mountain Man sit ski’s including the Junior need to be pressurized), but more good news! We have 2 new pumps that are very easy to use.

Sunday November 13 we welcomed many our new volunteers for Skiing and Riding is Fun in the morning and Equipment Overview and boot/helmet fitting in the afternoon.

That clinic will be offered again November 19th.

To wrap up, exciting preseason work has kept the Equipment folks busy as a bee to prepare for that first round of clinics and then on to lessons!

Think S*N*O*W*!*!*

Stacey Lunn
Equipment Manager

New Equipment

Schedule your donation now for Colorado Gives Day

November 1st, 2016

We hope you’ll consider donating this Colorado Gives Day, December 6. As of November 1, you can now schedule your donation and your donation will be partially matched on December 6th! Please visit https://www.coloradogives.org/igniteadaptivesports/overview to donate today. Select the option for “CO Gives Day” to schedule your gift.

2016 Volunteer Training Clinics

November 1st, 2016

Instructor clinics begin November 12, 2016. Please sign up as soon as possible so we have enough room and leaders!

Just a reminder that all volunteer instructors need two on-snow training days each year.

Please use the Clinic Signup Instructions to select the area you wish to train in and look up your required clinics and videos. Then login (top of website) with your staff login ID and password to update your profile and register for clinics.

Feel free to take extra clinics. The more we know the better we are as instructors. With our disabled veterans program we have the potential of having participants who will be on blue and black slopes, so consider taking one of the advanced clinics in VI and 3T/4T this year. We should also expect more sit-ski participants. Please do think about becoming Bi/Mono qualified!

If you have questions about clinics, please email clinics@igniteadaptivesports.org.

Unless otherwise noted in the clinic:
Morning classroom clinics are from 9AM to 12PM
Afternoon classroom clinics are from 12:30PM to 3:30PM
On-snow clinics are from 8:30AM to 3:30PM (may include lunchtime discussion so bring your lunch)

New and returning volunteers, please direct any questions to volunteer@igniteadaptivesports.org.

Ignite Tonight Gala Recap

November 1st, 2016

Thank you to everyone who supported the Ignite Tonight Gala benefiting Ignite Adaptive Sports! We are pleased to announce that, due to your incredible generosity at the event and our wonderful sponsors, we raised more than $55,000. It was an honor to spend the evening with you, the philanthropic community, and launch our 42nd season at Eldora Mountain Resort. We truly couldn’t do it without you and our dedicated volunteers.

If you enjoyed the short video featuring students Olive and Oscar Shrum, and Jennifer Burden, please watch it again and share it with others!

Check out the event photos taken by our roving photographer Chuck Haight. On the same web page you’ll also find all of the photos from the Photo Booth. They’re hilarious–definitely take a moment to laugh and enjoy them today.


Video: See the Lives Changed at Ignite

November 1st, 2016

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