High Fives Foundation Raises Millionth Dollar, Teams Up With Rahlves' Banzai Tour & Jake Hickman's Video

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 10, 2013 1:55 pm

High Fives Banzai

High Fives Foundation is making some serious moves as of late! High Fives reached a major milestone of $1 million raised! In addition, the High Fives Foundation has teamed up with Rahlves' Banzai Tour to collaborate on a fundraising project and one of High Fives' very own athletes, Jake Hickman has released his own story about how he has made a miraculous recovery in a span of one year to return to the sport  he loves, thanks to all of the generous donations to the foundation. 

High Fives Foundation Joins Forces With Rahlves' Bonzai Tour

Daron Rahlves’ Banzai Tour presented by Bank of the West is proud to announce its collaboration with Truckee, California-based High Fives Foundation. Rahlves’ Banzai Tour and High Fives Foundation are teaming up to host a tour kick-off party, as well as Sierra Nevada sponsored Banzai Après ski parties throughout the tour.

The official Banzai Tour kick-off party will take place on January 31 at the Hacienda del Lago in Tahoe City. Locals and visitors alike are invited to kick off the rowdiest ski and snowboard race in the Sierra with an evening of festivities benefiting the High Fives Foundation. Hacienda del Lago will be offering $2 tacos and $2 beers as well as free entertainment and a live raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the evening and all raffle proceeds will go directly to High Fives Foundation. Red Bull will also be donating one dollar from every Red Bull beverage purchased throughout the evening. Guests will be given the opportunity to win various prizes such as a pair of skis, the VIP prize package for the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour’s super final weekend at Sugar Bowl, home to the original Silver Belt Banzai, as well as being entered in the grand prize in the Hacienda del Lago's winter-long raffle. Daron Rahlves will be on hand to sign autographs and personally register athletes for the 2013 tour. 

High Fives Reaches $1 Million Milestone

“Raising $1 million over the past four years is an incredible accomplishment for the Foundation,” Tuscany said. “It has grown at a rate that has exceeded all expectations thanks to the generous donation of our major sponsors, everyday donors and supporters. Funds raised have helped the Foundation secure alternative treatments, expand the CR Johnson Healing Center and have aided in the recovery of more than 34 athletes from 10 states.”

High Fives funds support eight respective funding categories which include: living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and stoke (positive energy, outlook and attitude).

To date, High Fives has dispersed $621,000 in program services. The Winter Empowerment Fund, the CR Johnson Healing Center and B.A.S.I.C.S. represent the three program services of the Foundation in which athletes, community members and winter sports enthusiasts are served, healed and educated.

“The Foundation takes pride in putting the “fun” in fundraising,”  Tuscany said. “The philanthropic pulse behind the High Fives Foundation is in direct correlation to the core values of positivity, hard work and enjoying life, no matter the challenges.”

The focus of the High Fives Foundation has touched many people across the United States over the last couple of years.

“Roy Tuscany and his executive team of two envision and actualize more than could be accomplished by an army of people,” said Kali Kopley, Chair of High Fives Foundation Board of Directors. “Roy's dedication and perseverance is not just inspirational, it is contagious. His direction for t

he Foundation has proven to be a testament for success, and thus giving. Every opportunity for sharing his passion has resulted in strong, new relationships willing to believe in not just Roy, but the future of the Foundation. Today, the High Fives Foundation is a success; not just because it has granted over $600,000 since its inception to individuals in need, but because High Fives has impressed and touched so many willing to give.”

High Fives was able to reach the $1 million milestone thanks in part to a donation from the Fireside Pizza Co. located in Olympic Valley, Calif.

“The team at Fireside Pizza Company supports the mission of High Fives and was proud to donate $8,500 to the Foundation,” said Ray Villaman, owner Fireside and Rubicon Pizza. “The fact that this donation got the Foundation to the $1 million mark is awesome. In 2012, High Fives and Fireside Pizza partnered to create volunteer opportunities and seek community involvement with fundraising efforts. I want to personally thank the Foundation for making a huge difference in our community and the lives of many injured and recovering athletes!” 

“It is so true what Malcolm Gladwell says ‘Hard-working people are successful,” Tuscany said. “This quote resonates when I think about the amount of effort, time, and focus that Steve Wallace, Adam Baillargeon, and I have put into this non-profit. We are so lucky to have great supporters that recognize the work we do is extremely important.”

High Fives' Jake Hickman Releases Personal Story

The High Fives Foundation is proud to announce the release of “Jake Hickman – 1 Year Later,” a video produced by Conor Toumarkine of Shreddy Times illustrating one Winter Empowerment athlete’s return to sport after suffering a life-altering spinal cord injury.

To see first-hand how the Foundation assists in the recovery of injured athletes, please watch Jake Hickman’s video. This is one athlete’s personal story of returning to sport one year after suffering a life-altering spinal cord injury.  

“The High Fives Foundation has helped me with my recovery by being an amazing positive support group, both financially and personally,” Hickman said. “My complete recovery wouldn't have been possible without the Foundation and its generosity, friendship and support.”

The High Fives Foundation's Winter Empowerment Fund provided Hickman with rehabilitative healing therapies such as Physical Therapy with Scott Williams of Synergy Therapeutics, Acupuncture with Tyler Lapkin, Massage Therapy with Karen Stubbs and one-on-one training with Chris Cloyd. These therapies, along with time spent in the gym with his TRX Suspension Training System and on the trails, would not be possible without the generosity of more than 82 donors that have directly contributed to this up and coming ski star’s full recovery.

As a 16 year-old, Tahoe Vista, CA native Jake Hickman was well on his way to realizing his dream of qualifying for the U.S. Freestyle Development Group in the sport of mogul skiing. On December 22, 2011 the talented skier crashed while competing at a U.S. Freestyle Ski Team – Selection Competition in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Hickman, the reigning J2 National Champion caught the edge of his ski before one of the jumps in the course. The crash resulted in a spiral compression fracture of Jake's T8 vertebrae with an incomplete paralysis of the spinal cord. At first, uncertain of his ability to even walk again, Jake powered through a strenuous regimen of physical therapy to return to the sport he loves.

One year later he returned to the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team – Selection Competition at Copper Mountain, Colo. and placed 24th with a score of 74.23. This in itself is a testament to the hard work that Jake has put in.

Stay tuned to see what High Fives Foundation is planning to do next!