by Dash Hegeman
Last Sunday, the 5th of January, the Kids Escaping Drugs organization came down to HoliMont to host the 16th annual SkiScape event. SkiScape, for those of you who are not familiar, is a time-honored tradition at HoliMont. Every year just following the New Year, Kids Escaping Drugs partners up with HoliMont in order to raise funds for the development of its facilities and the continuation of its programs in Western New York.
Kids Escaping Drugs is an organization that is unique to this area. Throughout the country, there are children who are in need of drug and/or alcohol treatment, only they are placed in facilities with adults.
Thanks to Kids Escaping Drugs, this does not happen in Western New York. The Kids Escaping Drugs Campus consists of three buildings that house up to 62 chemically dependent youths ages 12 to 20. Renaissance House is a 30-bed intensive treatment facility for boys, Stepping Stones is a 16-bed girls’ residence, which combines both inpatient and continuum of care programs, and the Promise House is a 16-bed continuum of care residence for boys.
“Kids Escaping Drugs is extremely grateful and humbled by the support we receive from HoliMont,” said Deanna Messinger, director of development for Kids Escaping Drugs. “The HoliMont staff participates in every aspect of our event (sponsorship, planning, execution, and follow-up). They have repeatedly gone out of their way for our organization, and, most importantly, the kids we serve. We also are so thankful for the HoliMont members who stopped by our table to learn more about our organization, participated in our lunch or silent auction, or made a donation to help Kids Escaping Drugs provide preventative education, early intervention and addiction rehabilitation to the youth in WNY. We look forward to many more opportunities to work with the wonderful people at HoliMont.”
Each season, one of the attractions of this event is the Firefighter Ski Race. Firefighter crews from all over the state traveled to HoliMont to compete for bragging rights and a pretty impressive trophy. This year the North Boston team, led by HoliMont Safety Patroller Sean Crotty, won the 1st place trophy.
“Every year the firefighters who attend this event look forward to being able to ride the lifts and spend time with the young people who come out for Kids Escaping Drugs,” said Crotty. “It gives them time to connect with young people who they might not otherwise be able to spend time with on an average day. Plus, it connects two great traditions that they are all passionate about: firefighting and skiing.”
Back in the main chalet, the silent auction featured some fantastic items that ended up collecting a lot of bids (at the time this article went to print, the fundraising total for the day was not available). There were donated items from both the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, dining packages, golf and spa packages, products from local ski shops and much more.
If you’re interested in contributing to the Kids Escaping Drugs cause, check out www.makeachange.wny.org