Okemo Commemorates National Safety Awareness Week Jan. 16-22, Events & Prizes

Okemo Mountain Resort will commemorate National Safety Awareness Week, Jan. 16-22 with a host of fun events and activities to help educate skiers and riders and promote on-mountain safety.

The National Ski Areas Association named Okemo Mountain Resort winner of the Best Helmet Safety Program in its 2009 Heads Up National Ski Area Safety Awards. Nine resorts were recognized in different safety program categories and Okemo was the only New England resort to receive honors.

Each season, the awards recognize those resorts that have done an outstanding job of educating employees and guests about skiing and snowboarding responsibly.

"Safety First" is a mantra for Okemo staff members throughout the winter season, but it is during the annual NSAA Safety Awareness Week, in January, that Okemo turns its commitment to safety into a full-blown event.

Starting Jan. 16 and running through National Safety Awareness Week, anyone who purchases a new ski or snowboard helmet at Okemo's Snowsports Shop will receive a coupon for 50 percent off a full-day lift ticket, or 50 percent off a full-day equipment rental or high-performance demo, or 50 percent off a group lesson or adult clinic.

New this year, $10 from every helmet purchase will benefit the Vermont Children's Hospital Phat program: $5 from Okemo and $5 from the helmet manufacturer.

Vermont's own PHAT team (Protect Your Head at All Times/Protect Your Head on All Terrain) will be returning to Okemo from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 17. The Vermont Snow Sports Research Team, a partnership of Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont College of Medicine will be on location to help educate skiers and riders about helmet use.

Over the past five years, this team has been focused on developing a program to prevent serious head injuries by increasing voluntary ski helmet use among children and adults.

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