U.S. snowboarder Dick Schulze, already a living legend in the international snowboarding community, this week committed to a $10,000 donation to the Snow Sports New Zealand Patrons & Friends program.
Schulze, who at 64 is regularly one of the most senior competitors in both the Burton Global Open Series and United States of America Snowboarding Association events, said he hopes his donation will spur others in New Zealand to give.
“A $10,000 donation represents one percent of the $1 million goal,” said Schulze, a familiar figure in the Southern Lakes region who for the past 12 years has made Wanaka his second home. “I’d like my donation to serve as a challenge to the New Zealand snow sports community to get behind this initiative and help Snow Sports New Zealand reach their goal by 2014.”
The SSNZ Patrons & Friends program was set up in June 2010 to drive donations into an established charitable foundation. The goal is to build a sustainable capital base, utilizing interest and income from investment to help diversify funding for aspiring snow sports athletes and programs across all disciplines.
“On behalf of Snow Sports New Zealand and the entire New Zealand snow sports community, I want to express my sincere thanks to Dick for his support, and for his obvious passion for snow sports,” said SSNZ Chief Executive Ross Palmer. “Dick has been a great friend to the New Zealand snow sports community for many years. His donation represents just one aspect of his commitment.”
Schulze, who lives most of the year in Lake Tahoe, California, regularly offers up his home as a North American base for many of New Zealand’s top competitive snowboarders. He owned a home in Wanaka for the past 10 years, and spends a significant portion of the New Zealand winter in the Southern Lakes region chasing his passion for snowboarding. As a competitive snowboarder he is sponsored by Wanaka’s Base Ski & Snowboard Shop and by Snow Park.
Schulze, who when he isn’t snowboarding works as an intellectual property attorney in the US, said his motivation to give is based on his desire to see New Zealand snowboarders compete successfully on the world stage.
“In New Zealand you don’t currently have the financial support enjoyed by aspiring riders in many other countries,” he said. “Hopefully, my donation will help spur others to give, because the talent is there.”