Ski For Hope anticipates ideal conditions

The Dare2Dream team will be making their way up to Fort Chipewyan on Friday morning to close out the project that began in 2010 to raise funds for the youth of the community.  Joining Phil Meagher for the trip up the winter road will be project manager David Brady, his wife, and the originator of the Dare2Dream effort, Blake Crossley.

Blake Crossley in the original Dare2Dream poster from 2010
“Three years ago, an idea was born with four runners (also Alex Middleton and Brenda Erskine) dreaming big and wanting to inspire the youth of the Wood Buffalo region,” said Crossley. “Because of factors beyond our control, that dream was put on hold.  I’m thrilled to join Phil going up to Fort Chipewyan to help present 24 sets of cross-country skis to the community.”

2010 Dare2Dream Team: Blake, Alex, Brenda and Phil
Following the presentation of ski equipment to the Fort Chipewyan Campus of Keyano College, Meagher will lead a cross-country skiing workshop followed by some lessons on how to maintain the equipment.
The Dare2Dream team will be honoured with both a traditional lunch at the College and an evening dinner in Mamawi Community Hall.

“This provides the community the ability to plan for weekend skiing activities,” said Margo Vermillion, Chair, Fort Chipewyan Campus, Keyano College. “Staff members, students and our leadership are very excited about this donation. It’s something new for our community members to learn and enjoy.”

Meagher will set out on his Ski For Hope at first light on Saturday morning, determined to traverse the 280 kilometres from Alberta’s oldest settlement to the city centre of Fort McMurray. He will be equipped with technology to both record his journey and track his location.  He’ll have some added support as her begins and ends this historic journey.

“I’m happy to be able to run or snowshoe my limit of 10 kilometres, joining Phil for the first 10 kilometres and the final leg coming into town,” said Crossley.  “This is about overcoming adversity and inspiring others to dare to dream; it’s about seeing an idea come full circle.”

“I will be carrying a GPS tracking device that will allow anyone to go online and find out where I am,” said Meagher.  “I will also be capturing images along the way thanks to a head-mounted camera.  Over and above that, I’ll be well-armed with iPhone batteries, taking as many opportunities as I can to tweet about the Ski For Hope.”

Weather conditions appear to be ideal heading into this ski from Fort to Fort with temperatures projected to be just a few degrees below zero during the day and down to -11 overnight.

“You couldn’t have ordered up better weather,” said Meagher, adding in a “knock on wood” for good measure.  “I’m having a few anxiety issues as this gets closer, some questions of the physical impact it’s going to have on my body.  But like (Stephen) Covey says, I’m going to have to take time to ‘sharpen the saw’.  It will be important for me to completely rest, if only for five minutes.  It will equally important to refuel every half-hour to an hour.”

Meagher will make his way toward his final destination, the winterPLAY main stage at The Snye, expected to be early on Sunday afternoon, joined for the final 10 kilometres by Crossley.

The Ski For Hope has already raised almost $4,000 in support of the Centre of Hope.  Additional pledges can be made online at the Centre of Hope website:

“The generosity of people has been amazing,” said Meagher.  “I always have had a soft spot in my heart for the Centre of Hope.  If this ski can raise some money to support the great work they do with our homeless citizens, it will make the effort that much more worthwhile.”

“We’ll be following Phil’s progress with anticipation,” said Amanda Holloway, Executive Director, Centre of Hope.  “He is one of the most determined individuals that I know.  If anyone can make this historic trek, it’s Phil.  We are behind him one hundred percent.”


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