How 2023-24 Play Forever Wednesday Organizations Are Using Their Funds

Image: Otto Solberg

Author: Sabrina

Published Date: 04/25/2024

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Snowbird is committed to ensuring that today’s generation and future generations have the same opportunities for an adventurous life. Our Play Forever initiative puts this commitment into action, enabling us to focus on ski resort sustainability, environmental programs in Utah and meaningful outreach in our ski community and beyond. While we have several systems in place that facilitate the protection and preservation of the land Snowbird stewards, we make the most direct impact on our local community through our Play Forever Wednesdays give-back program. As part of this initiative, $5 of every ticket sale on participating Wednesdays is donated to a local non-profit organization making a difference in Utah. We are excited and eager to share the program results from the 2023-24 season. 

Play Forever Wednesdays - Tree Utah planting  a tree

Since its inception in 2019, our Play Forever Wednesdays initiative has helped support both environmental- and community-oriented initiatives focusing on local relief, access to the mountains, environment restoration and ecological preservation. For the 2023-24 season, we shifted program participation to a grant-based application process, while also guaranteeing each organization at least $2,000, helping ensure equitable donations regardless of weather conditions or possible road closures. The 2023-24 season has catalyzed program growth and contributed to measurable impact. We donated over $50,000 to participating organizations this season—over $10,000 more than last winter. 
See a full list of all the non-profits supported during the 2023-24 season, along with how some of the funds will be used, below:

December 6 | U of U Backcountry Squatters 
The University of Utah Backcountry Squatters is an outdoor recreation club devoted to promoting equity and inclusion in the outdoors. Their goal is to create a welcoming environment for women and non-binary people to get outside regardless of experience level. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward increasing female and nonbinary participation in outdoor recreation through covering ticket costs and gear rentals for members in need of financial assistance. 

December 13 | Alta Community Enrichment
Alta Community Enrichment’s mission is to create opportunities in the arts, culture and education for the enhancement and well-being of the Little Cottonwood Canyon community. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward supporting the community of Alta to fund resources such as stress support groups, bimonthly winter fitness classes, art therapy and more in hopes to promote healthy lifestyles, enhance well-being, prevent suicide, create a more inclusive environment and lower substance abuse. 

December 20 |​ SOS Outreach

December 27 | Comunidades Unidas/Communities United 
Comunidades Unidas focuses on building the social and political power of people who identify as Latinx immigrants living in Utah. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward providing aid in the form of increasing food security locally. Comunidades Unidas ensures the food they provide to immigrants is food they will enjoy and know how to cook. 

January 3 | High Fives Foundation

January 10 | Utah Clean Air

January 17 |  Wasatch Backcountry Rescue

January 24 | Friends of UAC
The Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) is deeply committed to keeping people on top of The Greatest Snow on Earth by providing avalanche forecasting, awareness and education throughout Utah. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward sustaining and strengthening the UAC’s ability to provide local relief to Salt Lake and Utah County through aid, support and education. 

January 31 | Friends of Hidden Peak

February 7 | Cottonwood Canyons Foundation

February 14 | TreeUtah
TreeUtah’s mission is to improve Utah’s quality of life for present and future generations by enhancing the environment through tree planting, stewardship and education. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward increasing the rapid planting of trees in local areas after great tree loss. This specifically includes replanting in two Salt Lake County locations that lost hundreds of trees during flood-mitigation efforts on levees and stream banks as well as trees ripped up due to hurricane-strength winds. 

February 21 | Wasatch Adaptive Sports
The mission of Wasatch Adaptive Sports is to encourage individuals with adaptive needs and their families to realize their potential and engage in active living through recreational, educational and social programs. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward removing barriers to outdoor recreation for the disabled population and providing them productive, encouraging and lifelong access to the Wasatch Mountains.

February 28 | Wasatch Mountain Institute

March 6 | Save A Brain
The mission of Save A Brain is to promote knowledge, foster prevention and raise awareness regarding traumatic brain injuries and concussions. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will help expand Save A Brain’s education curriculum and promote local relief efforts including procuring helmets, organizing workshops, providing financial support for low-income individuals and families and more. 

March 13 | Snowbird Sports Education Foundation 

March 20 | Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter

March 27 | SheJumps

April 3 | Housing Connect Fund
Housing Connect Fund’s mission is to enhance affordable housing opportunities by ensuring Housing Connect residents are connected with programs and supportive services that enrich their lives and anchor the communities in which they live. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward addressing barriers to housing entry and providing funding that will allow low-income families and individuals to access affordable housing in the communities they choose. 

April 10 | Utah Clean Energy
Utah Clean Energy is a local resource that specializes in collaborating with Utah’s leaders to find practical solutions for clean energy adoption and air quality solutions. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward ensuring an innovative and flexible electric grid primer for 100% clean energy, establishing a robust and accessible electric vehicle market in Utah, accelerating the demand for zero-emission homes and buildings, building a critical mass of Utah’s leaders committed to climate action and more. 

April 17 | Recycle Utah

April 24 | Maliheh Free Clinic 
The mission of the Maliheh Free Clinic is to provide free, same-day access to high-quality urgent medical care for all qualified patients. Snowbird’s Play Forever contribution will go toward offering essential healthcare services to individuals and families facing barriers to medical treatment with an emphasis on embracing diversity, equity and inclusivity while also working to reduce the strain on ER resources and establish a more sustainable and efficient healthcare system. 
Play Forever Wednesdays allow us to make strides to support local organizations working to uplift the community and sustain the environment, just like us. When you visit Snowbird, especially on a wintery Wednesday, know that you’re not only enjoying a day of skiing and riding but also contributing to the long-term enrichment of the environment and your community. 

About the Author

Sabrina Bengtzen, a Salt Lake City native, found a love for the mountains early in her life. In her free time you can find her waterskiing, snow skiing, mountain biking, hiking or reading a good book with a cup of peppermint tea. Her favorite adventures are those that involve her beloved dog, Bronco. She currently works at Snowbird as a Snow Reporter and Public Relations Specialist. 

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