An enthusiastic crowd of cross-country ski enthusiasts gathered in Armadale last Friday October 13 for the 2017 AUSXC Cocktail night. The evening was a roaring success, with record funds raised and a festive atmosphere. The event was hosted for the fifth year in a row by the Montgomery/Milne family, with athletes and friends pitching in to make the food and set everything up for the auction.
Special guests for the night included Ski & Snowboard Australia CEO Michael Kennedy, Australian Winter Olympic Team Performance Managers for Pyeongchang 2018 Alisa Camplin — also, um, an Olympic gold medalist — and Ramone Cooper. SSA XC chairman Ben Derrick doubled as the representative for National Team principle program partner Falls Creek .
Adding to the nearly $15K from door entry and auction sales, SSA CEO Michael Kennedy announced additional “campaign support” of $30K to assist the team to prepare for Pyeongchang 2018. The bulk of these additional funds are intended for physiotherapy and waxing support on World Cup, with some also for a final preparation camp in Seefeld, Austria, the site of the 2019 World Championships.
Kennedy also announced that the Australian Team was on track to have its largest ever cross-country skiing contingent at the Olympics, with the recent FIS quota simulation showing Australia with six athletes. Four Australian XC skiers competed in Sochi 2014, with three in Vancouver 2010 and Torino 2006. No Australian XC athletes competed in Salt Lake City 2002.
All funds generated on the night go into the XC Towards 2018 fundraising project, which, with the assistance of the Sundeck Cup and Kangaroo Hoppet ski waxing, is on track to deliver $25 000 towards athlete expenses in the 2017-18 season. In addition to supporting athletes racing on World Cup and trying to qualify for Pyeongchang 2018, the project will also support the Australian Team for the 2018 World Junior/U23 Championships in Switzerland.
Lively bidding for auction items kept the crowd entertained, with an eruption of laughter greeting auctioneer Nick Montgomery’s mid-bidding aside comment of “this is going well”. Major fund-generating items included a weekend apartment at Elk @ Falls, a Falls Creek Hero Pass, a callograph print by Val Anderson, and Fischer skis from Eastern Mountain Centre.
Many thanks must be given to all the donors for the silent and live auction, and the fantastic support of the cross-country skiing community in making the night a success. Progress of the team throughout the season can be followed via @ausxc on social media and the www.ausxc.com website.
Falls Creek Resort Management
Falls Creek Ski Lifts
Elk @ Falls
Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
Eastern Mountain Centre
The Mind Room
The Clyde Hotel
Howmans Gap Alpine Centre
Phil Thomas & Susan Middlemiss
Patrick Montgomery & Mandy Milne
Cycle Station Albury
Rebel Sport Albury
Hoys Skis Mount Hotham
Kwik Kopy Albury
Valley Grind Café
Foodworks Falls Creek
University Ski Club
Icicles Ski Club
As well as many team athletes either providing personal goods or soliciting donations from the donors above.