On March 7, 2021, the Diamond Peak Ski Team kicked off their virtual auction, an online substitute for what would be the 12th annual "Ullr Fest" that the ski team hosts but of course was limited due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The auction will be offering a plethora of items like prime parking at Diamond Peak and a day of wake surfing on Lake Tahoe to the winners with the highest bid. It's a familiar story these days, the effects of the pandemic taking a financial toll on the smaller organizations, yet the Diamond Peak Ski Team is showing how to prevail.
"Normally, each year in January or February the ski team hosts a two-day event called the Ullr fest. It starts on a Friday night with a community bonfire and torch parade and on the next night we host a gala and auction," said Julie Malkin-Manning, Diamond Peak Ski Team Manager. "Since we aren't able to do any of that, we converted to an online auction. We are a nonprofit and about 60% of our funding comes from registration but fundraising covers the rest."
Specifically, this 501c3 non-profit organization that calls Diamond Peak home but doesn't receive funding from the mountain makes the virtual auction a crucial fundraiser to sustain the livelihood of the team and continue to push the athletes in their skiing. The Diamond Peak Ski Team has long been a staple in the community of Incline Village, with ages ranging from toddler Mighty Mights to seasoned veterans that represent the team. During the winter season, there are roughly 175-225 athletes ski on the team which includes a broad age range of racers.
"The Diamond Peak ski team has been in existence for a couple of decades. Some of our coaches skied on the team when it was Ski Incline way back in the day," said Malkin-Manning. “The race team has athletes ranging from ages 6-96. Our athletes make up a big population of the community of Incline Village."
Far from just competitive racing, the Diamond Peak Ski Team offers multiple avenues where skiers can learn to truly develop and grow their love for the sport.
"Most of our athletes are competitive and race all over the Basin and Mammoth, along with kids on the team that participate in the Tahoe Race team. We also offer developmental training in Mighty Mights, young skiers who already know how to ski but are developing ski skills and an absolute passion for the sport,” said Malkin-Manning.
The Diamond Peak Ski Team is about chasing lifelong dreams and developing new loves for the sport that so many build their life around here in Incline Village. Whether it's racing giant slalom or hunting for powder this ski team loves it all and will be enjoying turns for many seasons to come.
The auction will close on March 21, at 8 pm so be sure to head to dpsef.betterworld.org to place bids on the many items available.