We Love Winter

Angie Ripple  |   Wednesday Feb. 1st, 2023

In spring 2019, Dragan Danevski and Lina Hultin founded the Bozeman-based non-profit, Montana Endurance Academy [MEA]. Originally from Sweden, Lina has since moved to Norway to be closer to her family. Dragan is well known in the community, having coached over 1000 skiers who have won more than 40 national championship titles, with 35 of his skiers going on to compete at the NCAA level, and three competing at the Olympics.

The mission of MEA is to provide high quality, year-round outdoor endurance training programs for local ski and endurance enthusiasts, from youth to masters, from beginners to nationally-ranked athletes. Their offerings include Youth and Adult Winter Nordic Programs, as well as summer and fall multi-sport training for ages five and up. The smaller group size of MEA programs allows individual attention to be given to each athlete, better helping them reach their goals, whether it is competitive racing, recreational skiing, or simply wanting to be in the best shape for their outdoor pursuits.

MEA’s Winter Nordic Programs, from U10 to Masters, are already underway, though registration is still available if you’d like to join the fun. They will show you how to “Love Winter,” too!  The programs are designed for the Nordic skiing enthusiast who wants to build fitness, improve technique, and enjoy competitive racing in either classic or skate skiing techniques. Structured workouts are led by MEA’s experienced and dedicated coaches. If you are ready to take your cross-country skiing and fitness to the next level, details about their programs are available at https://www.montanaenduranceacademy.org/

Montana Endurance Academy has counted on the support of locals to help keep program fees affordable and accessible. In 2022, MEA held a virtual wine tasting as their annual fundraiser. This year, the annual gathering will take place in person on Friday, February 10th from 6 - 9 pm at Bozeman’s new, luxurious AC Hotel (110 N. Tracy Ave.).

With a “We Love Winter” theme, the evening will include a brief overview of MEA’s programs, and a presentation from local wine expert, Jeremiah Dawson, owner of Vino Per Tutti. Guests will sample two wines from Europe’s mountainous regions (of course!) while enjoying an array of delicious appetizers from the chefs at AC Hotel, and fine chocolates from La Chatelaine. A 50/50 cash drawing, a silent auction, a raffle drawing for some seriously awesome gear, and art for winter lovers are all part of the fun, with plenty of socializing. Cost for the “We Love Winter” fundraiser is $150 per person, or $250 per couple. The ticket price includes two bottles of wine for each person or couple to take home, and one raffle ticket. Reservations are limited, so please get your tickets ASAP at https://www.montanaenduranceacademy.org/datenight/valentine/

Your support helps keep MEA’s program fees affordable and accessible to area ski enthusiasts of all abilities, from youth to masters. The money raised from the “We Love Winter” fundraiser will support all aspects of MEA’s operations, equipment needs, MEA youth scholarships, and future community involvement, including developing the ski trails at Gallatin Regional Park, and the Nordic Rocks program, which provides ski equipment to local schools for their physical education programs. This year, one of MEA’s goals is to provide gear to 12 youth athletes who would otherwise not be able to participate in the ski program.

If, like Montana Endurance Academy, you also love winter, please consider attending the annual fundraiser, buying raffle tickets, or making a tax deductible donation of money or time via their website.

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