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SAM Magazine—McLean, Va., July 2, 2012—Both Snowsports Industries America (SIA) and the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association (NSSRA) have declared their support for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) and challenged their members to get involved, financially and personally.

“After coming off one of the toughest seasons our industry has endured, it is now more important than ever for us to take a moment to invest in the future of snow sports, our future,” said David Ingemie, SIA president. In a letter to SIA members, he said, “I am asking you to help the industry by investing in the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month initiative and its new component, Bring a Friend.”

At SIA’s May board meeting, board members pledged $500 each, and some donated product for LSSM program prizes and giveaways. The organization is now asking all members to invest $500 in the program, and to make use of LSSM promotional materials and opportunities.

In an open letter to its members and the industry, NSSRA chairman Brad Nelson encouraged everyone to “own the fight” and take personal responsibility for introducing skiing or snowboarding “to at least one new family of four.” While that might not sound like much, he added, “there are almost 68,000 retail stores, vendors, reps, instructors, ski patrols, trade associations and media members in our industry. If each one of them introduced just one new family to the sport, it could be more 270,000 new participants.”

Nelson noted that LSSM and this year’s Bring A Friend program “are themes around which retailers can create promotional programs in their own communities.”

How can retailers and SIA members get involved? The LSSM/BAF Partner Tool Kit offers specific suggestions, graphics and messaging to help partners succeed individually and collectively. The tool kit is available at in a password-protected area. For access, contact LSSM via “contact us” at the bottom of the home page.

“The success of LSSM is a result of a willingness on the part of its partners to not only collaborate but play on each other's strengths,” LSSM executive director Mary Jo Tarallo told SAM. “There are many opportunities for resorts, ski schools, retailers and product suppliers to work together to further that success and to take LSSM and the new Bring a Friend effort to a higher level.”