The Deep Creek Lions Club held a Gala event for the 50th anniversary of the Blind Skier Program on Tuesday February 7th, 2023 at the Wisp Resort. Since 1973, the Club has been providing visually impaired youth with the opportunity to learn to downhill ski through this program. The Club celebrated the achievements of volunteers and participants during this event, as well as recruit new members and raise funds to continue the program for another 50 years and beyond
The event featured an inspiring presentation by Brian McKeever, a Canadian cross-country skier and biathlete, who is the most decorated Paralympic cross-country skier ever with a career total of 13 gold medals and 17 medals in all. At age 19, McKeever was diagnosed with Stargardt disease (a form of macular degeneration), and is now legally blind and skis with a sighted guide.
In addition to Brian McKeever's inspiring presentation, the event offered a silent auction, a delicious dinner, cash bar, music, an awards program, and other special surprise events to commemorate this momentous anniversary.
The event provided many opportunities for high-quality content generation with video, audio and still images. The Lions Club has an active and strong social media presence on Facebook and Instagram with worldwide brand recognition.
The gala event was held during the week of a typical Blind Skier program, so there were ample opportunities for video and interviews of the Blind Skier program in operation the day before and after the event. In addition, Mr. McKeever offered a cross-country ski clinic on the day following the gala event, providing additional chances for coverage.
The location of the gala and the Blind Skier program was Wisp Resort, easily accessible from population centers in the mid-Atlantic, with ample high quality lodging options.