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Avalanche center cancels fundraising event

High COVID case numbers to blame for ‘Cabin Fever Reliever’ cancellation
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 5:40 PM AKST
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - As COVID-19 case numbers continue to remain high, the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center has made the decision to cancel a popular annual fundraising event. This is the second year in a row the nonprofit has canceled “Cabin Fever Reliever,” an event that hosts music, food, drinks, and a silent auction to raise money for operational expenses.

“We had been cautiously excited about it and planning it,” said Andy Dennis, board chair for the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center. “... over the past couple weeks decided that it wasn’t in, kind of public safety’s best interest, and that’s kind of our mission.”

The event, scheduled to take place Feb. 5 at the Palmer Train Depot, typically brings in anywhere between $10,000 to $12,000 for the nonprofit. The avalanche center relies heavily on these fundraisers as well as grants and donations from businesses and individuals to pay for salaries and operational costs. The center provides avalanche danger ratings every Thursday and Saturday as well as 24 hours after major weather events.

Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center was founded in 2009 and joined under the umbrella of the Alaska Avalanche Information Center during the 2012-13 season before forming its own 501C3 nonprofit organization in 2019. Because the avalanche center operates on state lands, it does not benefit from federal funding like most U.S. avalanche centers that operate on Forest Service lands.

“We are basically operating on donations and any donation that individuals can help us with will, you know, increase our ability to put out more information,” Dennis said.

According to the center’s website, 100% of donations go directly to the organization.

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