The Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation has announced the 2019 award winners for the Bruce Erickson Award, named in the honor of the late American Bank President Bruce Erickson.
This award is given to member athletes who demonstrate the highest standards of all aspects of the sport of ski racing including citizenship, sportsmanship, and scholarship in addition to their success as athletes.
The award for 2019 was given to FVSEF athletes Addison Bahr and Brodie Kneeland. Bahr, 14, is from Polson and has been skiing with FVSEF since 2015. Kneeland, 13, lives in Kalispell and has been a FVSEF team member since 2013.
American Bank joined FVSEF in 2016 as a supporter and major corporate sponsor. As part of this sponsorship, American Bank and the Erickson family of Bozeman wanted to create perpetual awards given annually to the male and female team members that demonstrate the highest standards of all aspects of the sport. Bruce Erickson passed away in 2015, leaving a long history of avid support for ski racing in Whitefish, Bozeman, Big Sky and throughout Northern Division. The award is recognized by a perpetual plaque bearing the names of the recipients, and individual plaques for each recipient.
Bahr also won the United States Ski & Snowboard Association, Northern Division AK — Rocket Award for 2019. The Austin King Memorial Scholarship fund was established in the 2015-2016 ski season, thereafter known affectionately as the “AK — Rocket Award.” This coveted award supports a dedicated and passionate 12- to 14-year-old participant that exhibits a dedication to the sport, determination to skiing improvement, positive interdivision sportsmanship and support of fellow athletes for success.
Both Bahr and Kneeland are ramping up for the 2019-20 ski season. Training has already begun at Whitefish Mountain Resort, and the competition season began Dec. 14–16 with two slalom races at Red Lodge.