With Alaska’s domestic violence shelters stretched to the limit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Ski for Women has decided to donate all of the proceeds from the 2020 race to the Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis shelter, or AWAIC.
The shelter will receive $25,747 from the 24th annual all-women’s ski race held at Kincaid Park in February.
“We usually accept grant applications and then the committee assigns funds; but this year due to COVID, things were different and the committee voted to donate 100% of the grant funds to AWAIC,” Sara Kamahele of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage said by email.
In most years, the race receives multiple applications for grants, which go to local nonprofits that provide services to women and children impacted by domestic abuse. Last year, three groups shared proceeds from the race -- AWAIC, the YMCA and the Running Free Alaska program.
AWAIC has been a chief beneficiary since the creation of the race. In the past 13 years alone, it has received grants totaling $404,000, Kamahele said.
AWAIC has experienced an increase in demand during the pandemic, especially during the weeks when people were asked to stay home and hunker down. AWAIC has 52 beds, but that number has been reduced to about 30 because of social-distancing policies.
The 2020 Alaska Ski for Women attracted more than 550 girls and women. Next year’s race is scheduled for Feb. 7.
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