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Downhill slopes aid in an uphill battle

Commissioner of Emergency Services for Erie County and member of the Hillcrest Fire Department Dan Neaverth joined fellow firefighters in the Lake Effect Firefighter Races at the Skiscape event.
TONAWANDA/WNY -  When you add together the elements of snowy Buffalo weather, a group of great kids, and buffet style food - only good can come from that combination.

And this past Sunday - it did just that.

The 15th annual Kids Escaping Drugs Skiscape event welcomed more than 220 people to the slopes Sunday, Jan. 6 at Holimont Ski Resort, Ellicottville.

The winter fund-raiser focuses on raising finances to support the Renaissance Campus, located in West Seneca, which helps 62 adolescents age 12 to 20 escape the struggles of daily drug use.

The Renaissance Campus provides these adolescents with a second chance at life by helping them get through life challenges, battle addictions, and helps pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

As one of Western New York’s most notable ski resorts, Holimont opened its doors to the public again this year, showing their support by donating the hills to the cause in order to make a difference in these adolescent’s lives. Their generosity, along with all those who participated in the event as private and corporate sponsors, make it possible to provide education, counseling, and support for those children who are going through such struggles.

Skiscape is one of many fund-raisers that are put together by the Kids Escaping Drugs foundation. The event featured a full day of skiing at Holimont, with individual races and Lake Effect Firefighter Races. Firefighters from all over Western New York formed small skiing teams, and then raced down the hill in full gear to support the cause.

“This is a weather related event, so it’s tough to determine if people will show or not. Or, if it will snow or not, so that the event can go on,” said Christina Kruzer, special events coordinator. “We had a good turn out this year, it was more than we had last year.”

Kruzer added, “We host events all year long to raise money for the Renaissance Campus. Some of those include the gala and golf tournaments.”

The Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign is a crucial part of the goal to help keep kids off of drugs. With the help of the community, the Skiscape event raised $17,000 for the Renaissance Campus.

“We are looking forward to the 16th annual event,” said Kruzer.

All winners who gained sponsors and raised money were awarded cash prizes in gift certificates toward the Eastern Hills Mall. Medals were awarded to the top three winners in each division of racing.


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