The 38th annual Ski For Light (SFL) International Week is taking place this week January 27 through February 3, 2013, at Shanty Creek Resorts. SFL enhances the quality of life and independence for visually and mobility impaired people through a program incorporating cross-country skiing.

The SFL event brings together blind, visually, and mobility impaired people who have little or no skiing experience, and empowers them to participate and learn the basics of the sport, and to improve their skill and technique, providing them an opportunity to have a fun and life altering experience on the snow.

Individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or mobility impaired, through the SFL, discover that during the process of learning how to ski, they realize they can accomplish much more in life both on and off the snow. Mobility impaired participants discover that wheelchair activities on ice and snow can also be done with confidence. In addition, they discover the benefits of increased aerobic activity and a more physically active lifestyle, which carries over to their life at home.

The SFL event will have attendees from all over the United States including individuals coming from as far away as Alaska, Texas, California and New Hampshire. There are also just under 50 attendees coming from around the world: New Zeeland, Australia, Norway, Denmark, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The SFL event will include 97 visually impaired people, nine mobility impaired people, and 115 special guides, including John Birdsong from Traverse City, who has been doing it for several years. In addition, the international program director for SFL, Deb Wiese, who has been part of SFL for 17 years, is also a native of Michigan and graduate from Michigan State University.

The guides and participants are undertaking the special challenge of cross-country skiing on Shanty Creek’s 30-kilometer trail system. Skiers and guides will be out on the trails at Cedar River daily this week from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with a final event race scheduled for Saturday, February 2.

For more information visit Shanty Creek’s website at or call at 231-533-7088.

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