If your shop or brand has not yet aligned themselves with a SIA member non-profit yet, it might be time to reconsider. We’ll be highlighting SIA non-profit members for the remainder of this month, in hopes of showing you how partnerships can expand your businesses reach – while supporting incredibly honorable causes.
We sat down with High Fives Foundation’s Executive Director & Co-Founder, Roy Tuscany to learn a little bit more about their mission: supporting the dreams of mountain sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries.
How does your non-profit fit into the winter sports market?
High Fives Foundation is the safety net of the mountain action sport community. Through our program services of the Foundation, we offer financial assistance to those that suffer life altering injuries while participating in mountain sports along with an educational platform, B.A.S.I.C.S. (Be Aware Safe in Critical Situations) that highlights safety topics in the winter sports.
Tell us about your future goals and initiatives?
We have three major goals for the Foundation this year in 2016,
- Expansion with an office on the East Coast
- Increase our awareness in the Colorado Region
- Getting the Foundation on ELLEN
Do you have partnerships i.e. brands, resorts, athletes, etc.? How have they helped with your exposure?
This has been one of the largest ways of increasing our awareness and support for the Foundation. We have partnerships with GoPro, Smith, Armada, Flylow, SYNC, Phunkshun Wear, and many more brands within the SIA community. Working with these brands is a big part to our success and helping increase the awareness about the organization.
With so many opportunities at the SIA Snow Show like education and networking, how do you utilize your time while there?
We have a three tier approach to SIA; 1. Host a presentation of our B.A.S.I.C.S. film in one of the presentation slots, 2. Staff a booth at the event, 3. Meet with over 35 brands to discuss partnerships for the coming year and reflect on the past year.
Now that the season is coming to an end, what are High Fives Foundation plans for this summer?
We have a lot of plans for this summer. We are heading to Maui with 10 athletes at the end of May to host an adaptive surf camp, last year, we went with 6 athletes and produced this film, https://vimeo.com/135886865. We are also hosting two other adaptive surf camps, an adaptive waterski camp, and hosting three golf tournaments in Tahoe, Vermont and Colorado.
We have been super busy and working a ton so far in 2016, so we also have some plans to enjoy the Tahoe outdoor scene!
Tell us something that we may not know about your cause.
I’ll tell you two things,
- 1. The most important thing to our success has been establishing community among our staff (we truly believe in “teamwork makes the dreamwork”), donors, supporters, and network. We have found so much can be accomplished when you create an inclusive community.
- 2. The name of the Foundation, “High Fives” comes from the first time I met my doctor, Dr. David Leppla. He was an amazing surgeon that was not the most social, so instead of a “hello?” or a hand-shake, I broke the ice of the introduction with the doctor with a High Five. The gesture stuck to be the way to introduce myself to doctors, nurses, therapists, etc. It just seemed such a natural name for the organization after this became the way to introduce myself to others during my spinal cord recovery.
Final Notes: If you haven’t seen the new High Fives Foundation video, QUADRILYZED | The Journey of Jason Abraham, brace yourself for an emotionally uplifting and inspirational story following the real story of a Tahoe skier and photographer, Jason Abraham. On one of the best powder days of 2015, Jason Abraham, the beloved Tahoe skier and photographer was skiing at Squaw Valley capturing photos of a skilled crew in notorious steeps. After the session, he decided he’d take a free ski run down Main Chute in the Palisades. After dropping into the line he’d scored hundreds of times, Jason picked up speed and came out of the run faster than anticipated. He caught an edge and was flung on his back. The impact resulted in a spinal cord injury causing paralysis from the shoulders down and making him a #HighFivesAthlete — part of the same population he’d helped photograph and promote for years.
QUADRILYZED is the story of Jason’s new version of life as an athlete, as a photographer, and as a father.
Check out more High Fives Foundation Athlete Videos.