Antelope Butte fundraiser generates more than $32k

This past Saturday, the Antelope Butte Foundation (ABF) hosted a fundraiser,

“Butte-ify the Big Horns,” a fundraiser for the Antelope Butte Foundation, raised over $32,000 from generous donors.

Attended by over 200 residents, it was the community’s first detailed look at the project designed to reopen the Antelope Butte Ski & Recreation Area, which last operated in 2004.

“We have spent the last 18 months doing our homework and ensuring Antelope Butte can be viable moving forward,” said Mark Weitz, president of the ABF. “After concluding this is totally doable, we wanted to roll out our plans to the community and begin asking for support. The community’s response was phenomenal and we are encouraged to make it happen.”

Antelope Butte was originally opened in 1960 with a rope tow by a similar, hardy group of community leaders, under the name Fun Valley, Inc. Eighty-six year old Don Huffaker, one of those original pioneers, attended the event, where he was given a solid round of applause.

“I’ve skied a lot of mountains, many bigger, but always enjoyed the variety of terrain at Antelope Butte for over 40 years,” Huffaker said.

To date, $190,000 has been raised towards ABF’s goal of $3 million. The funds will be used to reopen and begin operations of the Antelope Butte Ski & Recreation Area, located in the Big Horn Mountains as a financially sustainable, year-round recreational facility.

Building on the momentum of the fundraiser event, fundraising efforts are being stepped up with plans to open for the 2014-2015 season. Interested parties and potential donors are invited to visit www.antelopebuttefoundation.org for more information.

Antelope Butte Foundation’s mission is to provide affordable, accessible skiing, mountain recreation, and related training and education for all, especially youth and beginners. The current board of directors is made up of nine professionals from the northern Wyoming communities of Sheridan, Basin, and Greybull that are dedicated to reopening the ski area for future generations.