A skier with sky-high potential has made a name for himself in Penticton and a recent fundraiser at Highway 97 Brewing proves it.
More than $10,000 was raised at the brewery on Thursday, Nov. 3, in support of Alec Henderson, a 19-year-old from Penticton who’s solidified a spot on Canada’s national team ahead of the upcoming season.
Henderson is the first Western Canadian male in seven years to make the national big-air and slopestyle team. But without sponsors, finances can quickly become a burden on any individual athlete.
Costs for travel, food and other expenses overseas add up. The community, though, came together on a cold and snowy Thursday night in Penticton, all in the name of supporting one of their own.
“Part of the reason why I love Penticton so much is the number of people that could come together and create something super special to support someone they know,” Henderson told the Western News ahead of his World Cup preparation stint in Stubai, Austria that begins Monday.
Highway 97 donated 100 per cent of the proceeds made from the gathering back to Henderson and his journey on the national team.
A total of 140 people attended, helping raise more than $10,000. The event also featured live music from Penticton’s Justin Koshman and a silent auction of 70 items.
Henderson is off to Austria in preparation for the World Cup, which runs from Nov. 16 to 20.
He hopes his journey on the world stage can inspire kids across Penticton to get involved in the sport.
“Of course, I want to go to the Olympics, and bring home that gold, but I really want to see more kids get into the sport,” the Apex skier said.
Henderson’s father, meanwhile, Chad, says while there were several familiar faces at the fundraiser, there were also just as many who he’s never seen before.
“There were people I didn’t know there and to see people trying to help Alec reach his dreams was amazing…he was really blown away by the turnout.”
The Penticton-based skier thanked his coach Kenni Kuroda for getting him this far, citing work ethic, attitude and passion as among the main teaching points.