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Lake Placid Ski Club marks 100th anniversary

LAKE PLACID — Part of the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society’s “Sign/Design” exhibit at the History Museum (242 Station St.) is the Lake Placid Ski Club sign, circa 1940s.

The Lake Placid Ski Club, which celebrates its centennial this year, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide programs that teach children the sport of skiing, a sport they can enjoy all their lives and pass on to their children. The programs offered by the Ski Club have taken some children from beginners to Olympic level skiers.

Founded in 1921, the Lake Placid Ski Club was created for the locals of Lake Placid as an off-shoot of the Lake Placid Club Sno Birds.

In 1959, the Ski Club became a membership corporation. Today, the Ski Club is supported by membership, fundraising events and the town of North Elba. The Ski Club offered many programs, Alpine racing, Alpine recreational ski and snowboard, the Bill Koch cross-country program, competitive cross-country, ski jumping and Nordic combined. In the 1980s, the competitive programs moved to the New York Ski Educational Foundation. The Ski Club now administers a children’s Recreational Ski and Snowboard Program at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center, which meets twice a week for two and half months each winter. The competitive skiers who are members of the Ski Club are supported monetarily through reimbursement of entry fees plus funds to help them reach their goals.

Since 1983, Carol Torrance Hoffman has served as president of the Ski Club. At age 6, she joined the youth commission program at Scotts Cobble, where she was instructed by Laura Viscome for many years. With the skills taught at the Lake Placid Ski Club, Hoffman skied competitively from age 8 through college. Volunteering as president is her way to give back to a club that helped find her passion for skiing.

Many changes have come about since 1983. Hoffman is most proud of the Ski Club members who qualified for the Winter Olympics with some winning medals. She is indebted to past and present ski club officers and board members.

Their dedication to the Ski Club is why the club has reached its centennial. With the help of her husband, Doug, the Ski Club became a nonprofit organization in the 1990s. The Olympic Car Show organized by the Hoffman family and the Ski Club is in its 39th year. All funds from past years were donated to the Ski Club’s children’s programs.

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