Friends of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center
Name change part of new fundraising efforts for avalanche forecasting center
by Friends of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center
August 17, 2012
The private, non-profit organization that supports the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center through fundraising and other support efforts has changed its name to Friends of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center. It was formerly known as the Avalanche Forecast Support Organization.
The name change is part of a renewed effort to grow fundraising supporting the avalanche center's work. Last year, the board governing the Friends group doubled its size to an independent 10-person entity.
"Changing our name to Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center is integral to what we're doing as a board, because it very directly says who we are and what our mission is," said Board Chairman Bill Maloney. "It creates a very strong connection to our supporters that what we do is help fund and facilitate the work of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, to the benefit of the public."
Donors to Old Bill's Fun Run, and any other cause moving forward, will find the organization listed by its new name, Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center.
Each year, 65 percent of the avalanche center's funding, which supports public information about avalanche condition reports found at jhavalanche.org or at (307) 733-2664, comes from donations.
Over the last decade-plus, Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center has played a crucial role in supporting the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center, according to Center Director Bob Comey. During that time, a period when demand for the Center's services greatly increased, funding from the non-profit has supported:
Extending the length of the forecast season earlier and later in the season, by up to three months.
Maintaining and operating remote automated weather stations.
Creating a new web-based Google Earth display of avalanche events.
Continuing to increase and evolve the information available at jhavalanche.org, including more historical data and a new field observations section.
Giving public avalanche awareness presentations.
Allowing a great field presence by and education opportunities for avalanche forecasters.
Pursuing and obtaining funding from grants and other sources.
In the coming year, the avalanche center plans to undertake a full web site redesign, an effort that will take place concurrently with other avalanche centers around the U.S., Comey said.
Along with Board Chairman Bill Maloney, the board includes Secretary David Defazio, and board members Brian Cousins, Jennifer Sparks, Tony Brooks, Stewart Johnson, Jon "JK" Klaczkiewicz, Dave Landes, Mitch Dann and Mike Rheam. Board members serve three-year terms.
Originally established in 2000, Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center (under its former name) operated for roughly a decade under the non-profit umbrella of the American Avalanche Association, a national organization of avalanche professionals that, among other work, helps support regional avalanche centers and forecasting efforts. In late 2010, Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center established its own locally based 501c3 non-profit organization, independent of the American Avalanche Association.
That move set the stage for the establishment of the larger, more broad-based board that was appointed last year, Comey said. Board members were chosen by the former board for their community involvement, the skills they could bring to the board, and their interest in the mission of Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center.
About Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center
Founded in 2000, Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center is a non-profit organization that helps fund the operations of the Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center. The group helps raise private funds to supplement the ongoing work the Avalanche Center does producing the daily avalanche forecast in the winter for Jackson Hole and other parts of western Wyoming, and providing avalanche-awareness education to the community. For more information, visit the Avalanche Center's web site at www.jhavalanche.org.