By Deborah Olsen

Ski 4 Yellow could be the most fun a skier or rider has all year on the slopes of Mount Werner. But behind the frivolity, celebrity and joviality lies a serious mission: to stand by cancer victims.

“I grew up in Steamboat,” says event organizer Casey Barnett, “and this event is the most fun day I’ve had on the mountain.” At the same time, the cause behind Ski 4 Yellow is sobering. Proceeds from the event go to help people who have cancer and their families navigate through the complex process of treatment.

Last year’s Ski 4 Yellow and its summertime counterpart, Ride 4 Yellow, raised approximately $200,000 for the 4 Yellow Foundation, a local Steamboat Springs nonprofit. Half of the donated funds stay in the Steamboat community and help to fund cancer programs at the Yampa Valley Medical Center and the Visiting Nurses Association, and cancer screenings through Planned Parenthood. The other half goes to the Livestrong Foundation, the event’s partner, for cancer navigation services.

“If I were diagnosed with cancer, my second phone call (after my family) would be to Livestrong. They don’t care what kind of cancer you have, from the minute of diagnosis, they are there to help you fight the fight for your life,” Barnett says. “We know we have some hard times coming up because of what has been in the press. But, for us, Livestrong is about cancer services, and until cancer goes away, Livestrong will be there. It’s all about survivors.”

This year’s Ski 4 Yellow hits the slopes on Saturday, March 30, which begins with a First Tracks run in the early morning. The Challenge starts at 8:45 a.m. at the top of the gondola and continues throughout the day. Skiers, riders and Olympians will join forces in a scavenger hunt that takes them to every lift on the mountain, plus landmarks like Buddy’s sculpture, Rough Rider Basin and the half pipe. Ski 4 Yellow is open to all ages and abilities.

For more information about Ski 4 Yellow, email info@ski4yellow.com or call 970-439-14YF.