News & Stories

The Loppet Alumni Fund: A Solution to an Exciting Problem

Over the past twelve years the Loppet Foundation has introduced cross country skiing and year-round outdoor activities to more than 6,500 children, including more than 5,000 from North Minneapolis. Loppet kids initially learn to ski through our programs at eight Minneapolis elementary schools, and many go on to ski, mountain bike, paddle and just generally love the outdoors through our middle school programming.

But we have a problem. And it’s a great one to have. Increasingly Loppet alumni from our inner-city programs now ski and mountain bike in high school. Although the Loppet Foundation currently does not have a formal high school-level program in North Minneapolis schools, we have continued to help Loppet kids pursue their passion for outdoor activities – a passion that we helped ignite. On an ad-hoc basis, we have provided equipment to Loppet alumni, paid for their participation in Loppet Nordic Racing programs, and sponsored their attendance at training camps such as the West Yellowstone Camp over Thanksgiving Break.

Happily, the number of alumni has grown significantly. Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis now has an entire team of skiers and mountain bikers. Last year 18 out of 20 of the Henry skiers were Loppet program alumni. One of them, Xavier Mansfield, went on to ski at Junior Nationals in Vermont, where he was one of the top U16 athletes for the Midwest Team. We are so proud of them and want to continue to support their efforts. That is why we started our Loppet Alumni Fund, so we can simultaneously help our alumni and continue to expand our elementary and middle school programs.

Over this past year Loppet Alumni have attended LNR Juniors Training, gone to camps in Wisconsin, Michigan and on the North Shore, raced in various Loppet and other events, and received equipment, uniforms, transportation and race support from the Loppet Foundation. We are happy to do it, but these services can be expensive and the Foundation needs your support to help defray the costs and continue to give these kids an opportunity.

The Alumni Fund provides an avenue for interested individuals to contribute directly to helping kids like Xavier, Bryce Holt, Raequan Wilson, and Mike Xiong – and many more each year – as they embark on new adventures beyond their Loppet middle school programming.

Those interested in contributing to the Alumni Fund can click here to make a tax-deductible donation.