The second 2nd annual Avalaunch Winter Market Awards went down at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah to recognize philanthropic, progressive and influential organizations within the action sports and winter recreation industry. Those involved in the industry have the chance to choose outstanding companies that contribute to the overall positive exposure to the industry. The prestigious Company of the Year award was given to Protect Our Winters (POW)- an alliance of the winter sports community that aim to reduce climate change that negatively impacts the winter sports and local economies.
Professional snowboarder and POW Founder Jeremy Jones, won Ambassador of the Year for the second year in a row. With undeniable knowledge and love for the sport of snowboarding and the environment, Jones has been voted “Best Big Mountain Rider of the Year” by Snowboarder Magazine 9 times and has starred in over snowboard films around the world.
Jones stated on the POW website, “I’ve been a professional snowboarder for over 15 years, and I’ve seen changes in the mountains and that’s what inspired me to start Protect Our Winters. I felt like as a group of winter sports enthusiasts, we’re the ones on the frontline. We see change and it’s important for us to try to make a difference and protect our playground”.
Many people of different expertise have joined forces with POW including professors, environmentalists and professional athletes. Some of the POW Board of Directors is Gretchen Bleiler, a professional snowboarder Olympic silver medalist and 4-time X Games champ and Surfrider Foundation Director of Marketing & Communications, Matt McClain.
POW has executed various strategies to spread the message of environmental protection in our mountains through political, educational and communal efforts. “Hot Planet/Cool Athletes” school Assemblies, presented by The North Face is one key aspect of POW that brings pro athlete representatives to high schools to educate students about global warming and environmental protection. Jones emphasizes the importance of educating the future generations.
The Protect Our Winters campaign has even made its way to Capitol Hill with Jones as the main spokesman for the cause. In Fall 2012, POW and NRDC partnered up to write a report called “Climate Impacts on the Winter Sports Economy in the US” which was the first to emphasize the great impact of tourism in snow communities that are dependent on a good winters for successful economies.
With over 50 partners including The North Face, Vans and Transworld Snowboarding, POW is making its way to positively impact our winter environment to ensure that it is here to stay.
Learn more about POW at www.protectourwinters.org