By Meghan Ochs
For those of us lucky enough to live here in Northern Nevada, we are well aware of the benefits an active, healthy lifestyle through sports and outdoor recreation can afford us. We live it. Our environment lends itself to activity. Physical activity offers countless benefits, physically and mentally. Marce Herz, a Nevada native and University of Nevada graduate, was a woman who understood this. She knew that sports, especially snow sports, her favorite, were good for everyone. Marce was a trailblazer here in Northern Nevada for many reasons. She was a champion athlete, a co-founder of The Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program, a mother, a grandmother, and a woman dedicated to ensuring that all children experience the joy of snow sports.
The Marce Herz Foundation was founded in her honor and is dedicated to empowering children through the love of skiing and snowboarding. Washoe County recently recognized her lifelong contributions to the Northern Nevada community through the naming of a new middle school in her memory. The school just opened to students for the first time ever this fall. The Foundation honors her legacy through the promotion of snow sports through skiing scholarships given to deserving, hardworking, and caring youth. Scholarships are awarded to high school athletes through the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, as well as competitive athletes through Far West Skiing. Additionally, The Marce Herz Foundation runs a program called Snow Riders which just finished its 16th season. Snow Riders is a partnership between The Foundation, The Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, and Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. All three organizations work together every winter so that 25 local children, who would otherwise never have the chance to ski or snowboard, receive apparel, lift tickets, lessons, equipment, food, and transportation to the mountain six Sundays a season, completely free of charge. The program allows children from all walks of life to experience the joys of sliding on snow.
The Marce Herz Foundation also works closely with Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program and is committed to helping their organization grow, offering more programs for children, and expanding snow sports through this unique nonprofit ski area in our backyard. Earlier this year, Sky Tavern renewed its lease with the City of Reno for another 30 years. Previous leases with the City were short term. The longer lease is a game-changer as it allows for long term planning and generational opportunity to grow and expand the needs and wants of the burgeoning population in the Reno area.
Additionally, The Foundation was excited to hear about, and support, the recent election of Yale Spina as the Chairman of The Board of Directors to Sky Tavern. The Marce Herz Foundation recognizes the wonderful, decade’s long contribution made to snow sports and the thousands of children introduced to skiing and snowboarding over the tenure of the outgoing chair, Chris Bender. The certainty of an extended lease and the input of new board members at Sky Tavern, along with the support of multiple organizations in Reno, including The Marce Herz Foundation, in continuance with already existing programs, should make for a bright future for youth in snow sports in Northern Nevada. As our region continues to grow, The Foundation also plans to expand and nurture more opportunities for children related to snow sports through more local ski resorts, scholarships, and school programs.
The Marce Herz Foundation is always looking for additional partner organizations to help with its mission of empowering children through snow sports. As a 501(c)3 organization, donations to the cause of fueling youth involvement in snow sports are always accepted as well as new volunteers. Possible partners, volunteers, and donors can learn more at MarceHerz.org or reach out to email@example.com.
Meghan Ochs is a local alpine skiing coach, CrossFit coach and founder of Skiing is Believing. As an advocate of children’s development through sport, she is a proud board member of The Marce Herz Foundation.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020