This is the original letter from the Stevek Foundation Board.
Dear Friends and Family, On behalf of Stevek’s family, we would like to extend our warmest holiday wishes, hoping to find everyone in good health and good spirits. It has been just over a year since we lost our beloved Stevek last Thanksgiving. And while the pain we felt and continue to feel will not soon leave us, it should be our wonderful memories of Stevek that remain forever etched in our hearts and minds.
Stephen G. (Stevek) Kenney July 24, 1945 – November 27, 2003 In this spirit, we should remember the opportunities many of us have had, on several different occasions, to come together and celebrate his life and our lives with him: the memorial service at Carnegie Hall, the bonfire and the 21 jump salute on New Year’s Eve at Stratton, the countless heartfelt postings on Eastern Freestyle’s website, the candlelight vigil on the mountain, the skating party held in his honor, the first inaugural Stevek Mogul Challenge, the Mass dedicated to Stevek at Stratton’s Chapel of the Snows, the recent Toast to Stevek and bonfire to kick off the ski season, and the addition of “Stevek” to the trail map as a permanent imprint on Stratton’s landscape.
The collective response to Stevek’s passing from his pervasive network of friends and family has been nothing short of inspiring, and profoundly reveals the power of his legacy and the permanence of his spirit. It is from this starting point that the Stevek Foundation was created, and we as a community begin the process of carrying on Stevek’s work and paying tribute to his life.
The purpose of the Stevek Foundation is three-fold:
- to continue Stevek’s spirit of generosity and benevolence towards others
- to perpetuate his legacy in the places and with the people for whom he cared most
- to leave his mark behind so that his life and memory will be cemented in our hearts and minds
The Board Members of the Foundation believe that Stratton is the most logical nucleus for the efforts aimed at fulfilling this broad mission. Freestyle skiing and teaching kids to ski were Stevek’s passions in life and Stratton was the home for those pursuits. As such, Stevek’s Allegro freestyle program at Stratton Mountain will be the primary and immediate focus of the Foundation’s efforts. Stevek began his Allegro program with 7 kids eager to learn freestyle skiing and a coach eager to teach; twenty three years later Stevek left behind 250 kids eager to learn freestyle skiing, 32 coaches eager to teach, and most importantly a vast community of friends and family touched and bound together by Stevek’s life.
The Foundation’s ambition is to pick up where Stevek left off: to not only maintain, grow, and support the freestyle ski program that Stevek created, but to keep alive that uniquely contagious spirit that he spread throughout it. So now the question becomes what can we do without Stevek here to guide us? To the end of continuing his generous spirit and supporting the program, the sport, and the kids, the Foundation has longer term goals to offer scholarships, provide grants, create special programs, assist the coaches, fund camps, and in general to opportunistically target areas of need in his program.
To the end of perpetuating his legacy at Stratton and in the world of competitive skiing, to memorialize his name on the mountain, and to achieve a longtime and unrealized personal vision at Stratton, the Foundation now seeks to construct the Stevek Competition Arena. With the blessing and commitment of Sky Foulkes, the President of Stratton Mountain and dear friend of Stevek, the Foundation is embarking on a campaign to raise new funds towards building the premier ski competition arena on the East Coast, in Stevek’s honor and name. While monies already donated will be directed primarily towards scholarships and our more charitable goals, those funds may also be used to target specific needs of the current project. The new Stevek Competition Arena will transform World Cup into a world class skiing facility and in so doing accomplish a goal of Stevek’s, fulfill an integral part of the mandate of the Foundation, and provide a fitting memorial to a man who gave so much over the past 23 years to this mountain and this community.
We are all excited to begin the project and ask for your financial support. Please see the enclosed information and donation form.
The Board of Directors Stevek Foundation, Inc.