By Master Sgt. Kevin Williams
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Approximately 3,500 skiers, snowboarders and other winter-loving enthusiasts from the Front Range military community and across the country gathered at Keystone Resort, Colo., for SnoFest Jan. 27 — 29.
Lt. Col. Chadwick Igl, 50th Operations Group Standardization and Evaluation chief, attended SnoFest for the first time with his family and said they will definitely come back again. His wife, Lt. Col. Ann Igl, 21st Force Support Squadron commander at Peterson AFB, and daughters Clarissa and Ellie, agreed SnoFest has a lot to offer.
“SnoFest was wonderful,” he said. “We participated in ice skating the first day and had a blast at the circus party the first night. The kids really enjoyed the face painting, the balloon figures and the circus performers. Saturday, I gave Clarissa her first ski lesson and then went swimming with the girls in the outdoor heated pool and hot tub. The girls had a blast! That evening we attended the tailgate party and had an equally great time. We wrapped up the weekend with a stop at the Keystone Nordic Center to go tubing.”
Clarissa, 6, agrees with her dad. Not only did she have her first ski lesson, she enjoyed everything offered and had an exciting weekend.
“I had a super duper time spending time with my family,” she said. “It was really, really fun! Tubing was great because we almost flied!”
SnoFest wasn’t just for local military members and their families from the Colorado Springs area. People attended from throughout the country, coming from as far away as Patrick AFB, Fla.
Of course, an event of this magnitude could not be pulled off it wasn’t for the all the volunteers, coordinators and sponsors to pull it all together.
“This is the 21st year for SnoFest. We’ve done this so many times … we’re a well-oiled machine,” said Lynn Sleeth, 50 FSS Marketing manager who served on the SnoFest planning committee. “It’s a huge task. Between the races, hospitality tent, dinner parties and other events, it came off without a hitch.”
All the events and discounts were made possible by the many sponsors who contributed to the overall success of SnoFest. More than $100,000 was raised.
“The money helped defray the cost of the event,” said Sleeth. “It helped reduce the cost of lift tickets and dinners. The sponsors contributed to the giveaways and freebies at the hospitality tent.”
Sleeth said the committee was concerned the turnout wouldn’t be as high because of the lack of significant snowfall so far. However, only 16 less rooms were reserved this year compared to the last and there were just as many people in attendance.
“There is a lot less snow this year,” she said. “It didn’t hurt the numbers. They came out in droves.”
Igl and his family were impressed with the entire event because it offered so much more than just skiing. He also recognized the hard work that goes into such an event.
”The committee did a phenomenal job with all the activities,” he said. “We really appreciated all the volunteers who assisted at all the events, especially the volunteers at the hospitality tent and the Peterson Youth Center children who came up for the weekend. We really appreciate the contributions from the many corporate sponsors, especially those who partnered with Adaptive Adventures to support the activities our Wounded Warriors participated in.”