BodeFest will give fans a chance to meet a skiing legendBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent March 23. 2014 6:24PM
FRANCONIA — BodeFest 2014 is a sellout, a testament to both the man and his mission, but officials at Cannon Mountain say there are nonetheless multiple opportunities on April 5 to see Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller in person and also to bid on memorabilia from his long and distinguished skiing career.
A “Cannon kid” who grew up on the mountain, Miller — who most recently won a bronze medal in Super-G at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia — is a Franconia native and with six Olympic medals, six World Cup titles, two overall World Cup titles and 33 World Cup wins, he is also the winningest-ever U.S. men’s alpine skier.
In 2005, Miller and his family established the Turtle Ridge Foundation, which, according to its mission statement, “seeks to provide a voice to people and organizations that empower individuals to solve difficult environmental protection issues and to offer the opportunity for our disabled community and young people to participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities that would not be available to them without our help.”
Through the annual BodeFest fundraiser at Cannon Mountain, the nonprofit foundation has supported, among others, the New Hampshire Boys & Girls Club of America; Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country; Adaptive Action Sports, Inc.; Let The Kids Play; New England Disabled Sports; YES (Youth Enrichment Services); Surfers Healing New England; North County Recreation, Cheer & Football; D Acres farm in Dorchester; as well as youth summer camps.
The Turtle Ridge Foundation will receive 100 percent of the registration fee from BodeFest 2014 which will also include a silent and live auction featuring items including vacations, season passes, Olympic memorabilia and a “First Tracks with Bode” morning tram ride and ski runs with Miller.
The 400 folks lucky enough to get tickets to BodeFest will also participate in a fun race, enjoy a barbecue lunch and have the chance to ski with Miller and also to get his autograph.
Don’t have a ticket to BodeFest? No sweat, says Greg Keeler, who is Cannon Mountain’s director of sales and marketing.
“The cool thing is you can still come to Cannon and you’ll see Bode Miller. He’s not hiding, you just can’t do some of the events like the autograph session but he ends up in the Base Lodge and helps with the live auction and you do have the opportunity to see him and maybe get up close.”
Also, said Keeler, “You can hang out and watch him ski because he takes a run through the race course on the Gremlin trail.”
The auctions are also open to the public.
“There’s tons of stuff as well as his personal memorabilia,” Keeler said. “Who knows where those sweater-like things from Sochi are going to show up? I hear he has an entire wardrobe of that stuff and I imagine something like that will be at the auction.”