The Charlotte News

The Kelly Brush Foundation has partnered with the local organizing committee for the Audi FIS Women’s Ski World Cup at Killington Resort on an initiative to improve on-hill safety for the upcoming event, Kelly Brush Foundation Executive Director Zeke Davisson announced.

As part of the Venue Improvement Initiative, the foundation has committed $40,000 to the two-day women’s alpine ski event, matching a commitment by Killington’s parent company, Utah-based Powdr Corp., for a total of $80,000 that will go directly towards the purchase and installation of on-hill safety equipment, including safety netting to line the edge of the race course and impact protection to mitigate hazards on the course.

The Kelly Brush Foundation has deep roots in ski racing. The foundation was started after Kelly Brush of Charlotte sustained a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed while collegiate racing for Middlebury College. Together with her family, Brush started the foundation to improve safety in the sport and to provide adaptive sports equipment to others with spinal cord injuries. Brush’s mother, Mary Brush, is an Olympic skier who raced in the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Brush’s father, Charlie Brush was head alpine ski coach at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, an NCAA Div. 1 program with a legacy of producing Olympians. Lindsay (Brush) Getz, sister of Brush, and Davisson, husband of Brush, were also standouts on the Middlebury College Ski Team.

“The Kelly Brush Foundation is focused on ensuring that safety in alpine ski racing is modeled at all levels of the sport, from the elite level on the international stage to local clubs at small ski areas across the country. We are honored to partner with Killington to put on an event that sets the standard for venue safety at all levels,” Davisson said. Since its inception in 2006, the foundation has awarded over 20 miles of netting to programs around the country seeking to improve on-hill safety.

This is the second year Killington is hosting the Audi FIS Women’s Ski World Cup, which is scheduled for November 25 and 26, 2017. In addition to supporting the World Cup, the benefits of the investment will extend to all athletes who race and train at Killington, which includes skiers from Killington Mountain School, Killington Ski Club and all participants of Vermont Alpine Race Association sanctioned events.

Vermont Alpine Racing Association President Tao Smith praised the foundation’s work. “The Vermont Alpine Racing Association is grateful to the Kelly Brush Foundation for its tireless support for improving venue infrastructure and athlete protection and for the foundation’s commitment to World Cup racing at one of our local resorts,” said Smith, who is also head of school at Killington Mountain School.