Mammoth Invitational top dog in raising money for Mammoth’s youth

Mammoth is good at fund-raising. We’ve got a million of ‘em, it seems.

But at the top of the heap right now is the Mammoth Invitational, a race-filled weekend featuring pro skiers and boarders that went off last weekend on behalf of the Mammoth Community Foundation.

Foundation executive director John Armstrong said the event on Mammoth Mountain raised nearly $500,000 on behalf of the town’s kids.

The foundation is committed to raising funds to provide an added margin of excellence for academic and athletic programs for youth in our community.

But what struck Armstrong was more ethereal than the mere cash that flowed to the foundation.

“The supporters of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation who attended the Mammoth Invitational this weekend impressed me with their generosity and sense of community spirit,” he said.

“They genuinely love Mammoth, want to be a part of this place, and most of all, they want to help the children of our community succeed.”

The invitational, in its third year, had its weather problems, just as the rest of the town did.
On Saturday, the race day, an unearthly cloud began to descend from the top. It didn’t appear to be a problem, as long as it hung on the top.

But as the cloud began its slow, cold descent, it enveloped the mid-mountain, bringing howling winds with it.

By the time it reached the race courses, unprepared racers tried their most to resist, but failed.

The late afternoon races were scrapped, sending them all into the Mammoth Mountain Inn, where the bar and restaurant began to hum, ahead of schedule.

The thing is, not a whole lot of people seemed to mind.

“That’s a wonderful group of people,” Armstrong said, “and I am very grateful for how they demonstrated their commitment to education, sports and kids.

“It was amazing.”