Shae Vance follows Silver Star Adaptive Snow Sports instructor Terry Brill down the slopes during the 2018 Carter Classic. (Photo submitted)

Silver star Adaptive Snow Sports gears up for annual fundraising race

Annual Carter Classic is Feb. 16

Moira McColl/Special to The Morning Star

One local family is getting ready to fly high as Silver Star Adaptive Snow Sports (SSASS) gears up for the annual Carter Classic.

“I like to ski – it’s like flying but on the ground,” proclaims Shae Vance, a 14-year-old who is looking forward to beginning her eighth season as a student with SSASS. And for a second time she plans to ski with her family in the Carter Classic Memorial Dual Slalom, an annual fun race and fundraiser for SSASS.

“I don’t think we as parents would have been able to teach Shae to ski on our own,” comments Vance’s mother. “The individualized attention and instruction, as well as the personal connection from the SSASS volunteers, was exactly what she needed to make skiing a success.”

SASS is a completely volunteer-run charity that provides free skiing/boarding instruction to anyone who cannot participate in a regular lesson due to a cognitive, sensory or physical disability. Programs are available for both locals and visitors to SilverStar Mountain Resort and for all ages and abilities. This season, SSASS has 57 trained instructors and will provide instruction to more than 100 students. A large percentage of SSASS’s enrollment is persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Related: SSASS gets a boost

Related: New techniques and equipment gets everyone up on the slopes

Vance was diagnosed with ASD at four-years-old and Developmental Coordination Disorder, which is a delay of motor development and the ability to coordinate movements resulting in tremendous frustration when attempting to learn any motor activities.

“SSASS is about building a relationship with a student and developing their confidence,” says Terry Brill, an instructor with SSASS for 20 seasons and Vance’s instructor for several years.

He describes Vance as a pleasant, bright young teen who has matured a lot and gained confidence.

“We celebrate every milestone” he explains, “as simple as carrying her own skis, to skiing through the trees.”

His best memory is the day, early in her fifth season, when she was able to ski independently without a tether. Her mom happened to witness this and says “it brought tears to my eyes.” Now, Vance is able to ski a few runs with her family.

Last year Shae, her parents and two younger brothers, Lachlan and Ronan skied in the Carter Classic. Shae’s brothers really enjoyed racing down the easy slalom course, set up with ramps, flags and electronic timing. Shae followed Brill down the course and reports that it was “pretty cool.”

The whole family looks forward to participating in the Carter Classic again this year.

SSASS invites the public to join SSASS students and instructors by registering a team of three or four able-bodied skiers, or sponsoring a skier or a team.

The 2019 Carter Classic is on Saturday Feb. 16. To enter a team, sponsor a participant or learn more about SSASS, visit, email or call 250-260-3737.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP volunteers sought for Vernon, Lumby

Core classroom training set to begin this spring

$55K consultation fees for Vernon to dump effluent in lake

Savings from pumping reclaimed water to reservoir to cover costs

Stinky situation for some in Vernon

Unexpected issue disrupted Thursday’s garbage service, Saturday pickup scheduled

Armstrong Kin Club celebrates 100

All-Canadian service club gives back to communities from coast to coast

Vernon firefighters respond to car fire

No smoke or visible flames seen in Bella Vista Road incident

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Gas drops below a dollar per litre in Penticton

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Pawsative Pups: You have a new puppy, now what?

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Sewer service planned for South Okanagan community of Kaleden

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen plans to extend Okanagan Falls system into Kaleden

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Mitchell’s Musings: Modern language is a work in progress

Communication requires more critical thinking from listeners

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Most Read