Annual Summer Benefit Held August 19th at Olympic Jumping Complex

LAKE PLACID, NY – The New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) awarded several athletes and volunteers during its annual Summer Benefit gala on August 19th at the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid. 

The Summer Benefit is a major fundraiser for NYSEF, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for athletes of all ages to reach their potential in snowsports through professional guidance and financial support. This year marks the 50th anniversary of NYSEF, and over 200 people gathered to celebrate the organization’s golden anniversary. 

“The Summer Benefit is always a great time to reconnect with the NYSEF community, honor award recipients, and share our love for ski racing,” said John Norton, NYSEF Executive Director. “The fact that we are honoring 50 years of our community is just so special.”

During the awards ceremony, several athletes, staff, and volunteers were honored, including:

  • Julianne Brochu was awarded the NYSSRA SportsPage Cup Series award. This award goes to the top three U18 men and women with the best total running score in the Empire Cup Series. 
  • Denny Sebek was awarded the NYSSRA Drexler Memorial Award. This award goes to the athlete with the lowest combined race points at the Empire Winter Games GS and SL, in honor of Joe and Brett Drexler.
  • Cara Dempsey and Mikey Mezzetti were awarded the NYSSRA Jan Burnap U16 Combined Award. During the U16 State Championships, one boy and one girl are awarded based on the best GS race, the best SL race, and SG using simple place points.   
  • Denny Sebek was awarded the NYSSRA U16 Most Improved Award. The recipient is elected for significant improvement over two years based primarily on results while they are U16 athletes. 
  • Cara Dempsey was awarded the NYSSRA U16 Horst Weber Award. This award goes to the U16 New York racer who best reflects unselfish sportsmanship and has shown these traits by their ski results, dedication, determination, and accomplishment in the sport of ski racing.  
  • Debbie & Rich Harrison were awarded the NYSSRA Connie Webster Volunteer Award recognizing their leadership skills and generous spirits.
  • NYSSRA Coach of the Year was awarded to NYSEF Gore Coach Steve Jackson.

Earlier this year, NYSEF was also named the U.S. Ski & Snowboard 2023 Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year in May, as well as receiving the Paul Bacon Award for the second year in a row for the wide array of events the club produced during the 2022-23 ski season, including the FISU World University Games and the NCAA Ski Championships. This is the fifth time NYSEF has received this award.