CCI giving $45K for Pine Mountain ski jump upgrades

CCI SYSTEMS RECENTLY pledged $45,000 for the Kiwanis Ski Club’s fundraising efforts for needed upgrades on the Pine Mountain ski jump venue. From left are Patter Kelly, CCI corporate secretary; Susie Fox, correspondence secretary of the Kiwanis Ski Club; and John Jamar. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — CCI Systems has pledged $45,000 toward the Kiwanis Ski Club “Soaring Into the Future Campaign” for needed upgrades on the Pine Mountain ski jump venue.

“CCI Systems is happy to ‘jump’ in to support the Kiwanis Ski Club campaign. We are committed to assisting with the transformation of this iconic community asset to help grow our economy and make life better in our community,” said John Jamar, CCI president and CEO.

The Kiwanis Ski Club campaign wants to do an estimated $4 million in improvements that would position it to host World Cup events, placing it ahead of former Olympic venues in Utah and New York.

Success of the venture hinges on the club’s ability to secure nearly $3 million through the Great Lakes Recreation Fund, which was created by the Michigan Legislature last year to aid tourism. Much of that assistance, however, would be in the form of a loan, which makes local contributions crucial, said Susie Fox, correspondence secretary of the Kiwanis Ski Club.

In recent decades, Pine Mountain has hosted Continental Cup events sanctioned by the International Ski Federation, or FIS, but the ski club is under increasing pressure to bring the historic slide up to modern standards.

FIS has granted temporary certifications to the club on a yearly basis, but with the planned project a five-year certification could be secured, Paul Bujold, club treasurer, said at a recent Dickinson County Board meeting.

The club hopes to begin removing the existing scaffold in May and erect a new slide and ceramic track, lighting, a warming hut and judges tower well before winter. To save on costs, a construction elevator could be rented for skier use during competitions, along with wind screens.

FIS apparently has no issues with the club, only the aging venue. In fact, in planning World Cup events, officials have favored Pine Mountain over both Park City, Utah, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, and Lake Placid, N.Y., which last hosted the Winter Games in 1980.

Those interested in supporting the annual tournament can go to www.soaringintothefuture.org. All donations are tax deductible. If interested in being a major sponsor, contact Bujold at PBujold@mjelectric.com or 906-396-0595.

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