Snowboarding club raises funds, brings fun with winter trips

Come December, attending classes becomes tiresome, and there’s an incredible hunger for winter break. Even before finals start, students have reached that point when all they want for Christmas is a whole month off from classes. Eventually, they get it.

While winter break is well-deserved and rarely goes to waste, the fruitcake does get stale, and that sweater granny knitted begins to itch. Haome gets boring, and before long, students become antsy to get back to North Broad Street and be comfortably trapped in a world with thousands of peers who share the same interests and youthful spirit.

The problem is school. It gets in the way of all the fun, and the solution is escape. Members of Temple University Snowboarding Club will take a five-day getaway to Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

Guido Martelli, president of TUSC and a senior communications major, said he barely knew two people when he went on the Canada trip his freshman year, but while he was there, he met most of his best friends.

“It’s a nice way to end your winter break with a week of madness with your friends and new friends,” Martelli said. “It’s hands down the best week out of the year. It’s five days and five nights of constant fun. Tremblant just got ranked No. 1 nightlife in Transworld Snowboarding [in North America].”

One hundred sixteen students are already signed up for the trip, which promises 94 runs, 13 high-speed chair lifts and 18 acres of terrain park, including an Olympic-sized half pipe.

Students attending the trip will receive round- trip transportation and lift tickets for a five day and five night stay in a private condo for about $500.

TUSC has been around since 2005, but the last two years have been its best, boasting a full roster of 129 official members. TUSC has successfully established relationships with snowboarding companies that sponsor the club, and as a result, TUSC gets gifts and discounts each year.

“It’s hard to convince a company that a Philly school can be sponsored and that we actually have legit people,” said Kevin Casey, a senior marketing major and chairman of TUSC. “We’re an urban campus, and it’s a little difficult for us, so we try a little harder.”

The effort seems to pay off. As it awaits snowfall, the club is currently holding “Flick Fridays” every other Friday at 8 p.m.

“We just rent a room out in the [Student Center] and show a video just to get people kind of hyped for the season,” Martelli said.

When there’s snow on the trails, the club will take weekend day trips to places like Bear Creek and Big Boulder in the Pocono Mountains.

In 2007, TUSC was recognized as Temple’s Student Organization of the Year. The organization is committed to community service and raised more than $2,100 last year.

Tom Caridi, a senior marketing and international business major, has been TUSC’s treasurer for the last two years.

“Relay for Life is one fundraiser where we excel,” Caridi said. “Everything we raise is for the American Cancer Society, so it’s a good thing for the club to be involved with. We can raise money for ourselves, but when it comes down, to it you should have something good that you’re doing. That’s been something we’ve been really good at the past four years.”

One thing TUSC tries to stress is that the club is for all skill levels.

“Even the people who aren’t that into snowboarding end up being loyal members of the club because we form kind of a family feel,” Caridi said.

Martelli stressed there is more to the club than just hitting the slopes.

“It’s almost as much of a social club as it is a snowboard club,” he said.

Scott Yorko can be reached at scott.yorko@temple.edu .

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