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Charity event goes downhill for 24 hours

24H Blue MTN is a relay event that keeps skiers on the hill from noon to noon, funds raised are donated to the hospital and Special Olympics
A tradition at 24H Blue MTN: Special Olympic athletes run to the chairlift to start the relay event.

It's not everyday you can watch the sun set and rise again without leaving the ski hill, but a few hundred skiers and snowboarders will be doing that later this month for a charity event. 

The 24-hour Blue Mountain relay (24H Blue MTN) welcomes all level of skiers and snowboarders to join in teams and spend 24 hours taking turns on the Smart Alec run. 

Inspired by the original event at Mont Tremblant, local resident and 24H Blue MTN co-organizer Michael Ney pitched the idea (several times) to Blue Mountain Resort. It's been running for about five years with a hiatus during the pandemic. 

Teams, said Ney, should ideally be about 10-12 people. With a team of 12, each skier or snowboarder can take a 2-hour shift, or two one-hour shifts. The team member doing the runs at the time will have a time chip on them to count runs and track times for prizes. 

Pledges collected by participants will be donated to Special Olympics and the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation. 

The event begins with an opening ceremony led by a parade of Special Olympic athletes and four-time Olympian Brian Stemmle. The parade continues as the event torch is escorted to the Blue Mountain Village Square and accompanied by the Beaver Valley Pipes and Drums band. After words from dignitaries and representatives of both the hospital and Special Olympics, there's a 100-metre dash to the chairlift for the Special Olympics and the relay event begins. 

Ney said he’s hoping for 40 teams to participate. Registration is open now. 

“Our best year ever was 41 teams in 2020, we raised $156,000,” said Ney, adding the pandemic stalled the momentum gained in 2020. “In some regards, we were basically starting over again last year. It would be great to get to 40 teams and $200,000." 

In 2022, there were 30 teams participating and about $155,000 was raised.

The event will include entertainment and activities throughout the 24 hours. 

The registration fee of $169 per person covers the cost of lift tickets for those without passes, closing the Smart Alec run for the event, breakfast, and renting the Cascade Room. The suggested fundraising target for each individual is at least $300. 

The event takes place from noon on Feb. 25 to noon on Feb. 26 with the Smart Alec run and a chair on the lift reserved for relay participants. 

To register or find out more about the event, visit the website at

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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