For most, a warm winter is a wonderful thing. But for the Snow Team of Virginia Tech, it was anything but. By mid-February, there had been only one snow storm. And with the nearest ski resort 2 hours away and not even 50% of its courses open, the team got to thinking of a way to bring the snow to them.
After more than 9 months of planning, VTSNOW hosted SnowJam, a ski and snowboarding competition in the middle of Virginia Tech’s drillfield on March 15. 70 tons of snow was brought in to build a massive ramp, which was not a cheap feat. In fact, marketing director and designer, Nick Gagianas, said “it was an expensive event…we could have bought cars for all the officers for the same amount”.
A website was set up to collect donations from students and several sponsors lent a hand to make the whole event possible, including Rita’s Ice, Cabo Fish Taco, Belk, Campus Cookies, Nike and BB&T. They also gave space to Relay for Life, National Wildlife Foundation and Actively Caring to raise awareness for each separate cause.
Close to 50 skiers and snowboarders competed in the event, and even Rita’s Ice mascot hit the ramp. While the weather wasn’t in their favor, over 500 people showed up to cheer on competitors in the rain and mud. This event will hopefully turn into an annual event, said Gagianas. “We really hope to expand this event. It was both a finish line and a starting line for VTSNOW…this year’s event is only a small step toward where we want to go with this in the future.”