NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – Although things will look different this year, the Ishpeming Ski Club will still host their annual ski jumping tournament on March 6th and 7th.
According to the club’s vice president, Peter Copenhaver, on of the changes includes not allowing spectators at the tournament.
“We originally had the tournament scheduled for January but it got postponed until March 6th and 7th,” said Copenhaver. “We have decided just in the last few days that we are going to forego any public spectators due to the State of Michigan COVID-19 guidelines and protocol and we just couldn’t have enough staffing to help manage the tournament and also if we were going to have the public in attendance.”
Additionally, due to a lack of availability in athletes, they will not have the 90-meter “Suicide Hill” ski jump.
“We will just have competition on our smaller hills, our 13 meter, 25, 40 and 60 meter,” said Copenhaver. “The competition will be largely comprised of our kids from the Ishpeming Ski Club and we will also have athletes coming in from some neighboring clubs in the central division ski jumping area which is mainly Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.”
Copenhaver says this year will feel different with the younger jumpers in the spotlight.
“I think it’s going to be a little different, you know since 1887 we’ve been holding these tournaments, 134 years consecutively and we haven’t missed any so even though we can’t have the big hill flying and can’t have the public here to cheer on the athletes it’s going to kind of thrust the junior athletes into the spotlight and give them a chance to kind of shine so we’re still hoping to have the same energy behind the event,” said Copenhaver.
The ski jumping tournament is normally a large fundraiser for the club’s operation.
“This ski jumping tournament is critical, especially the revenue generated from buttons from people attending the tournament is critical for the operation of this club,” said Copenhaver. “We use the proceeds almost exclusively for operating the club for the calendar year and we’re a club that operates year round so without that revenue it kind of puts us in a tight spot.”
The Ishpeming Ski Club will be accepting donations to help make up for the lost revenue from the tournament.
“In lieu of not having the public in attendance, we’re going to be obviously losing that revenue from button sales and that kind of puts us in a position where we need to get creative so we have designed and launched a fundraising effort for the club and we’re hoping that can take a moment if they have the means to help donate,” said Copenhaver.
How to donate can be found on the Ishpeming Ski Club’s website. Donations can be made online or by mail.
“Using a computer to donate can be a barrier for some folks and we recognize that so they can also donate conventionally by mailing a check or sending in funds that way as well and they can just mail them right here to our P.O. box in Ishpeming,” said Copenhaver.
If you can’t donate money, Copenhaver says they also need donations of time.
“We have all sorts of ways of getting involved you know during the current pandemic it makes things a little more challenging but we always are looking for people to volunteer to help around the club,” said Copenhaver. “You know there’s always so much to do winter and summer, we’re out here, we’re clearing trails and we’re cutting the grass, and we’re fixing that and sawing this and hammering that there’s always tons to do so if you want to get involved we would really look forward to anyone who would be interested in doing that as well.”
Ishpeming Ski Club is a (501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is nearly all run by volunteer power.
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