Return of the derby | News

The One to One Mentoring winter fundraiser resumes after a two-year hiatus

By Erin Spillane

Planet Contributor

The Cardboard Sled Derby is back.

After two seasons without the One to One Mentoring winter fundraiser – the event was the first local one to be impacted by the 2020 ski resort closures – the 2022 Sled Derby returns on Saturday March 26 at Nastar Hill in the Telluride Ski Resort back.

The race starts at 10:30 am

The Sledding Derby is open to all 5-14 year olds, including children from across the region, as well as part-time workers and visitors. Competitors drive their own sleds, which need to be handcrafted using nothing but corrugated cardboard, paint, tape, and glue, with twine or rope as handles.

“We are so excited and relieved to be back,” said One to One Mentoring Executive Director Tara Kelley. “We’re one of the few family-friendly fundraisers in town, and we can’t wait to see what the kids come up with this year.”

The event raises funds to support the work of One to One Mentoring by matching young people from the area with mentors and helping to connect them and their families with resources and services.

To this end, the local business community is encouraged to sponsor the sleds. Companies that donate $350 to $750 will receive a logo on one to five sleds, depending on the amount donated, as well as mentions from the presenters at the event and promotion on social and local media.

Kelley pointed out that One-to-One Mentoring, which never charges client families, relies on donations, grants and fundraisers to support programming.

“The last few years have been a challenge,” she says. “Since Top Chef 2019 we have not been able to do a single fundraiser. These were popular events that accounted for a significant portion of the funds we give to our children and their families.”

Also back is the Pre-Event Sled Building Workshop, this year taking place at the Transfer Warehouse on Wednesday, March 23rd from 3pm. Materials are provided for one to one mentoring youth. The general public is welcome to attend but should bring their own materials. Everyone gets snacks.

Mentor Trang Pham has been working with her mentee to build and decorate a sleigh, an endeavor she noted fits her artistic streak, if not the order of her home.

“I love being creative, but I also love watching the kids express their creativity,” Pham said. “They have the ideas and I help them refine their vision and the technical aspects of sled building. I am currently helping my mentee and her friend to build a sled. My house is crammed full of art supplies at the moment, but it’s so much fun to watch them take ownership of the sled build. I think sled building is just as much fun as the derby itself.”

Aside from the sled derby, One to One Mentoring welcomed a new CEO, Noah Sheedy, in January, replacing outgoing President Dan Zemke.

Sheedy, who is also the director of the Telluride Ski and Snowboard School, was previously board treasurer and said he looks forward to settling into the new role at what I believe is the most important non-profit organization for the youth of our community ever-evolving local community.”

“To be a part of supporting this organization at any level is a true honor,” said Sheedy. “In my eyes, the role of President is the ultimate endorsement and one of which I am deeply proud.”

He continued, “As a parent of two, I am acutely aware that the challenging life transitions of adolescence are harder than ever. One-to-one mentoring offers our youth the opportunity to have a healthy and supportive relationship with an adult outside of their family unit. A mentor can be instrumental in ensuring a successful transition into adulthood.”

Sheedy added that he’s also looking forward to this year’s Sled Derby for a very personal reason.

“The return of the Cardboard Sled Derby for 2022 is exciting for the community,” he said. “And on a personal level I couldn’t be happier that it’s back this year as I have two children who are now old enough to attend. The stoke couldn’t be higher.”

Kelley said she and program manager Adrienne Christy are equally thrilled to finally have an event to focus on after the break.

“We encourage everyone to sign up for one-to-one mentorship in one way or another, whether you’re sponsoring a sled, encouraging your kids to get involved, or just attending this fun event,” said Kelley. “We truly could not survive without the generosity of our community and we once again ask for their support.”

For more information on One to One Mentoring’s Cardboard Sled Derby, contact Tara Kelley at 970-728-0885 or email For information on how to participate, see

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