Celebrity Winterfest, the largest fundraiser of the year for Special Olympics Northern California and Nevada, returns once again to Diamond Peak Ski Resort March 5. Proceeds from the weekend help fund free training and competitions for 17,000 Special Olympics athletes.

The event, now in its 15th year, features a high profile dual giant slalom ski race on Show-off Run. The competition pairs corporate teams with a Special Olympics athlete and a celebrity skier. Skiers and snowboarders at Diamond Peak are invited to watch the race.

Some of the Hollywood celebrities racing in this year's event include Thyme Lewis from Days of our Lives, Michael Buie from Mystery Alaska and The Next Three Days, Ryan Merriman most recently from the CBS 6-hour mini-series Comanche Moon, Kevin Durand from Lost and Robin Hood, Tim Abell from Buttermilk Sky and Miracle at Sage Creek, and Rick Ravanello Hart's War and The Cave. Reporters from Bay Area news teams will be filling out the celebrity crew, including Emmy award-winning Juliette Goodrich who anchors the noon newscast on CBS 5 and John Sasaki from Fox 2 News on KTVU.

The opening ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. at Diamond Peak followed by the race at 10:30 a.m. Results from the race will be announced at an awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa, and Casino. The dinner includes entertainment and a live auction for more fundraising. 

The fundraising weekend, which runs March 4-6, concludes on Sunday with the Polar Plungefest. Celebrities and corporate teams, along with anyone else who wants to participate, jump into the frigid Lake Tahoe. Plungefest takes place at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Private Beach at 9 a.m.

More information. Or call 775-832-1177.


Diamond Peak Team Blazent

Team Blazent at Diamond Peak competed in the 2010 Celebrity Winterfest dual giant slalom race with the team comprised of corporate members, a Special Olympian, and a Hollywood celebrity. Diamond Peak photo.