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There are people in the industry who see a need and think, "Someone should do something about that." When Cheryl Jensen saw a need, she did something about it, and this is why she is being recognized by the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Women in the Industry.

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In 2003, when she was visiting the Pentagon, Cheryl Jensen saw an opportunity to use the healing powers of the mountains to assist badly wounded veterans, which is what inspired her to found the Vail Veterans Program. Soon after, wounded veterans were flown from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, to Vail, CO. From there, the program taught veterans to ski and snowboard through the adaptive ski school so that they could enjoy the healing powers of the Rocky Mountains -- all expenses paid. One veteran who had lost both legs in Iraq went on to compete in the Vancouver and Sochi Paralympics; he commented, “I am not sure why you did all this for me, Cheryl, but you changed my life!"

Another of her many accomplishments is the creation of SWAG (Sharing Warmth Around the Globe) in 2000. Seeing the rotation of resort uniforms that are retired after a few years of use, she thought they could be a viable source of clothing for those in need. Cheryl found a way to distribute these uniforms around the world to impoverished communities, and in 2008, she partnered with the National Ski Areas Association to broaden distribution, sending warmth to nearly 300,000 people.

When Cheryl founded the Vail Veterans program and SWAG, she didn't do it for the accolades. She did it because she saw a need and found the resources to fill it. When I talked to her back in September, she said, "I'm humbled by the honor. I just wanted to do something good for those in need."

Thank you, Cheryl. Among countless other efforts, your generosity, persistence, and efforts with the Vail Veterans Program make you a perfect fit for this award!
About author
Pugski Tester Tricia
Height: 5'5"

Weight: 145 lb

Years skiing: 30+

Days per year: 75+

Home mountains: Mt Rose, Palisades Tahoe, Alpine Meadows

Preferred terrain: Trees, of course, but making tracks in fresh corduroy brings a smile to my face, too.

Skiing style: Finesse

Preferred ski characteristics: I like a ski that is strong enough to hold an edge but soft enough to bend with some energy and feedback.

Boots: K2 Anthem Pro 120, Lange RS Purple Haze Heritage Boot, Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 115 BOA, Salomon Supra BOA,

About me: "Do what you love, love what you do" are the words I live by. Skiing became my passion from the moment I turned 18; a little over 25 years later, I moved to the Lake Tahoe Basin to make skiing my life and career. Along with helping skiers face to face, I am the site manager and owner here on pugski.com and review product for various manufacturers, both hardgoods and softgoods as well as work with manufacturer focus groups to help improve ski gear for women.


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