You can never plan your winter adventures too early. One longtime social club in the Bay area knows this better than most. Celebrating its 50th year, the Tampa Bay Snow Skiers and Boarders (TBSSB) host their annual Kick-Off Party Friday, August 16 at the Hilton Hotel at Carillon Park, located at 950 Lake Carillon Drive in St. Pete.
The party, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., offers guests an opportunity to partake in food, drink and conversation and provides a fun, casual setting to learn about the local social ski club, meet current members and check out this year’s array of ski season trips available for sign-up. Ski trip leaders will be on hand to answer any questions and to take deposits from anyone who may be interested in joining one or more of the upcoming snow ski outings.
Peggy Gummoe, director of marketing for the Club and a member herself for over 25 years, says the TBSSB Kick-off Party is a great way for local ski enthusiasts to meet up with others who share their passion for the sport and make new friends. The Club has over 3,000 members currently and on average, coordinates travel for 900 of those members each ski season.
Gummoe says that usually each year over 300 people attend the popular kick-off event. “If you are interested in going to a certain area, you can talk to the people showcasing that particular trip,” she notes “If someone signs up for a trip or if they’ve already signed up for one, you can win a $500 voucher toward your ski trip.”
For the 2019-2020 ski season, TBSSB is offering 19 different ski trips, including international trips planned in Canada, Switzerland and a first ever Club Med International ski trip planned for France. Gummoe notes that there are also many non-ski social events held throughout the year including bowling, rollerblading, biking, Girls Night Out events and other outings, as well as special parties during Halloween and Christmas.
Ski trips run every weekend starting in mid-December and through the following early April. At other times of the year, members may lead fundraising campaigns for a group of designated charities the Club supports as well as a Club toy drive over the December holidays to be donated to Toys for Tots.
For those unable to make the August 16 Kick-Off event, TBSSB will hold a second kick-off event at the Holiday Inn Westshore in Tampa (700 N. Westshore Blvd.) on Friday, September 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. As with the August event, no RSVP is needed.
Gummoe says no commitment is required and there is no need to bring anything to the kick-off event other than your level of interest. “Expect to meet fun, stimulating people, enjoy good food and maybe grab a raffle prize, if you’re lucky,” she says. “You make friends, and you’ll always have someone to ski with at your level. And you do nothing but show up. You put your deposit down when it is due, pay the balance by the date and everything else on the ski trip is taken care of for you.”
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