SHERIDAN — “Butte-ify the Bighorns” was held on Saturday night in the Edward A. Whitney Academic Center atrium at Sheridan College.
The fundraising event for the Antelope Butte Foundation partnered with the Sheridan College Outdoor Adventure Club to raise awareness of the re-opening of the Antelope Butte Ski and Recreation Area.
ABF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide affordable, accessible skiing, mountain recreation and related training and education for all, especially youth and beginners.
According to ABF Board of Directors President Mark Weitz the ski area will be operated as a nonprofit business to offer more flexibility and sustainability for long-term operations.
“Nobody gets paid here, never will, not even with a ski pass,” Weitz said. “We’re going to operate off the passion of this community.”
The ski area in the Bighorn Mountains, 59 miles west of Sheridan, closed in 2004.
The foundation plans to refurbish the lodge and the chairlifts and hopes to have the 250 acres of skiable area open for the 2014 ski season.
The event Saturday featured an auction, a limbo contest and guest speakers, among other things.
One speaker was Mayor Dave Kinskey who shared memories of skiing Antelope Butte as a child.
Keynote speaker Mountain Rider’s Alliance co-founder Jamie Schectman addressed the importance of community ski areas.
Fundraising figures were not available but Weitz said the event was not really about the money.
“This is not our means for raising funds,” he said Saturday. “This was all about reaching out to the community and showing how well this cause is loved. Can love make it happen? Well the Beatles said it could and I still believe.”