MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by MSIA)

“Mitts 4 MI Kids” helps provide gloves and mittens to kids on Michigan ski slopes and trails —

It has been a longtime problem at Michigan ski areas. Children come out to learn to ski on a school field trip and are ill prepared for the winter weather. Often they don’t have proper gloves or mittens to protect their hands and keep them warm enough to hold ski poles or use the rope tows or other lifts.

“These are often kids who have never seen a ski slope and their class has worked hard to raise the money for a special field trip to learn to ski,” said Pat Deibel, ski school director at Pine Knob in Clarkston and Mt. Holly in Holly. “We often find ourselves scrounging around in the Lost & Found to find gloves or mittens they can use,” he added.

Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA), says that the problem exists at ski areas across the state. As a remedy, the association came up with a program called “Mitts 4 MI Kids.” MacWilliams says it’s a simple idea, which allows Michigan skiers to be a part of the solution. MSIA created a Mitts 4 MI Kids poster and instructed participating ski areas and ski shops to affix it to a box and place the box in a visible location in their lodge or store. The poster asks skiers to donate their gently used ski mitts and gloves by placing them in the box. The ski area will then give them to their field trip kids who don’t have proper hand protection for the slopes and trails. When they head back on the bus, the child will take the mittens or gloves home to keep their hands warm all winter long. Participating ski shops have agreed to take the mitts and gloves to their local ski area.

“I think that most ski families are like mine – over the years we’ve collected a bunch of gloves and mitts that no longer fit anyone in the family or are missing their partner.  These gloves and mitts can help keep other kids warm, even if they don’t match,” said MacWilliams. She encourages all skiers to scour their homes for unused gloves and bring them along the next time they head to the slopes. However, they must be ski gloves or mitts that are suitable for the slopes. “The ski areas don’t need knitted mitts or other hand protection that will get wet and cold in the snow or which will be destroyed by a rope tow,” she adds.

You’ll find Mitts 4 MI Kids donation boxes at these ski areas: Apple Mountain in Freeland, Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs (lift ticket window), Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls (lift ticket window), Challenge Mountain (take donations to their office at 1158 M 75 S. Boyne City, MI 49712), Mt. Holly in Holly, Mt. Brighton in Brighton, Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex in Muskegon, Pine Knob in Clarkston, Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire.

Boxes are also located at these ski shops:  Don Orr Ski Haus in Traverse City, Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) was formed in 1990 to speak with one voice for the state ski industry, increase awareness of snowsports and introduce new individuals to skiing and snowboarding in Michigan.

For additional information, contact: Mickey MacWilliams, Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, 7164 Deer Lake Court Clarkston, MI 48346 Phone: (248) 620-4448 Fax: (248) 620-9238 Cell: (248) 330-5558