JANS Winter Welcome gala another success

A sold-out crowd gathered at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley for the Youth Sports Alliance's 43rd annual fundraiser

PARK CITY, Utah — On Saturday night, a sold-out crowd gathered at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley for the Youth Sports Alliance’s 43rd annual JANS Winter Welcome, to raise money for Park City’s young athletes.

JANS Winter Welcome.
JANS Winter Welcome’s silent auction items. Photo: Michele Roepke // TownLift

Drinking, dining, and dancing were peppered with donating by black-tie and gala-gown-wearing attendees between the silent and the live auction.

Andrea Terwillegar is the daughter of Jan Peterson, the founder of JANS Mountain Recreation. Before he passed away, Jan had a “Free” box in the corner of his ski shop. One day, he observed one of Andrea’s and her late sister Abbey’s closest friends and ski racing teammate, the late Tori Robinson, grab a pair of goggles out of that box. Seeing that made Jan realize that the Park City people and parents who he’d perceived would be the last to need new sports equipment weren’t necessarily the ones he thought. Andrea told TownLift, “That moment inspired my dad to found JANS Winter Welcome, bringing the issue to the forefront of the community in a fun fundraising way. My mom, Amanda, and I are honored to attend every year, and thankful that the town remains focused on these dedicated athletes now and into the future.”

JANS Winter Welcome.
JANS Winter Welcome’s silent auction room. Photo: Michele Roepke // TownLift

In addition to a dozen trips to highly-coveted travel destinations, Dar Hendrickson’s donated dinner for 10 was, as always, a highlight of the live bidding as locals state that his cooking skills are second only to his ski-coaching abilities.

JANS Winter Welcome.
Mixing and mingling. Photo: Michele Roepke // TownLift

A perfect pandemic pivot had bidders from across the world joining the online silent auction in the days leading up to the event. Hundreds of bidders went home with everything from art to Zion National Park trips.

Live auction/dinner. Photo: Michele Roepke // TownLift

In the weeks leading up to the gala, ticket sales were steady for an Opportunity Drawing chance to win a trip for two to the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. When the winning name was picked out of the hopper, the crowd shouted its support. The winner was one of the many local longtime sport coaches often working multiple jobs and raising a family in Park City.

JANS Winter Welcome.
JANS Winter Welcome’s famous (or infamous) late-night DJ dance floor where VIPs kicked their heels off, let their hair down and were boisterously singing something about how a roof, roof, a roof was on fire but that they emphatically did not need any water. Photo: Michele Roepke // TownLift

One man, as he left, expressed how even though he’d had a home in Park City for a decade, he was glad to have been to the event, his first time attending. He was a bit taken aback at how he’d seen the community in a different light as they came together to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in one night for the benefit of youth in sports. He’d been searching for just the right organization to make a donation to and with an ear-to-ear smile, he said how he had a lot of fun, and is already looking forward to next year’s JANS Winter Welcome

Among the athletes there, all of whom were given permission by their volunteering parents to stay up past their bedtimes, there was one missing. He couldn’t be present this year because Olympian and YSA athlete/ambassador Casey Dawson was competing that day at his speed skating national championships — and winning.

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