Press Releases and Media

February 9, 2017, from February 2017 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

Challenge Mountain, Where the Impossible Becomes Possible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186
PRESS RELEASE January 2017

Challenge Mountain Awarded Community Pride Award

at Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Annual meeting!

CONGRATULATIONS to the award winners from the January 19th Chamber Annual Meeting! A record crowd of 340 people attended the Boyne Area Chamber Annual Meeting at Boyne Mountain Thursday night, enjoying great food and drink, entertainment and the presentation of awards to community leaders and organizations. The Chamber Board of Directors was installed by State Senator Wayne Schmidt, with Michael Doumanian continuing to serve as president for the year ahead. State Representative Triston Cole and numerous other civic and business leaders also attended.

Community Pride Award — Challenge Mountain invested in the community in a big way when they purchased the mostly empty building on M-75 and within 8 months opened a new resale store. The renovated building exterior is a great improvement to the M-75 corridor and the store is meeting a need to provide gently used quality household items, clothing, furniture, books, and sporting goods. Proceeds from the store support year-round adaptive recreation opportunities for children and adults living with disabilities at no cost to participants, families, or schools.

From left in the photo are Ashley Cousens, Chamber executive director; Scott MacKenzie, Volunteer of the Year; Mark Kowalske, Heritage Award; Sara Manchester, Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Pat O’Brien, Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award; Elizabeth Looze and Bill Aten of Challenge Mountain, Civic Pride Award; and Mike Cain, tied with Mark Kowalske for the Heritage Award. Not pictured is Entrepreneur of the Year Rich Bergmann of Boyne City Taproom. Photo by Kim Ritsema Photography.

Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186nightmare logo

PRESS RELEASE October 2016

Come to The Nightmare for Halloween Family Fun

The Nightmare returns! Every Friday and Saturday in October from 7 – 10pm the Lodge at Challenge Mountain is transformed into a haunted house with spooky adventures and activities for all ages. This event offers a bone chilling experience for those who like a good fright combined with fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. The Nightmare is your one-stop Halloween event with something for everyone!

Come early because The Nightmare is not your typical haunted walk-through and has become known for its spooktacular folklore and intrigue both indoors and out with new adventures every year. You will become entranced listening to evil stories that will keep you up at night. Your heart will race as you wonder around the Drain Maze and Wicked Woods. Haunted history will surround you at the Graves Family Graveyard and Dead Branch Saloon. The Shadows of Michigan lurk deep in the woods so beware of what awaits, because you are never alone!

All proceeds from the event benefit Challenge Mountain. The fee is worth the fright with children (12 & under) $5 or three for $10 and Adults $10. Activities are age appropriate including areas designated for all ages, children only and adults only. Dare to visit The Nightmare at Challenge Mountain Lodge, Springbrook Road, Boyne Falls. But beware, don’t use your GPS to get you there! Visit challengemtn.org/nightmare/ for directions.

Challenge Mountain was established in 1984 as a non-profit organization and today, it continues to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation. Challenge Mountain strives to ensure that cost is not a barrier, and thanks to support from events like The Nightmare, individual donors, the community, grants from private corporations and foundations, and income generated through the Challenge Mountain Resale Store, our programs are offered at little or no cost to participants and their families. To learn more about Challenge Mountain, go to challengemtn.org or contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231-582-1186.

For more information about Challenge Mountain or to get involved, contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231.582.1186.

Adaptive Bikes

Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE September 2016

Challenge Mountain Receives Donated Adaptive Bikes

A bike ride along one of the beautiful trails in Charlevoix and Emmet counties is a recreational activity enjoyed by many in northern Michigan, but opportunities to participate in recreational activities are not something that is readily available for our friends, neighbors and visitors living with disabilities. Thanks to a recent gift, Challenge Mountain can offer more opportunities for individuals living with disabilities to experience life and adventure on a bike ride.

In support of its recreational programming, Challenge Mountain (CM) recently received two Amtryke therapeutic tricycles from the ABUCS chapter in Grand Rapids. “The addition of these tricycles to our fleet of adaptive bikes will provide more opportunities for individuals living with disabilities to experience life and adventure on bike trails in northern Michigan” according to CM Program Director Linda Winn-Armstrong.

“This generous gift is a huge boost to the Challenge Mountain adaptive biking program,” commented CM Board President Bill Aten. “These tricycles are advanced in their braking mechanisms and are highly adaptive to accommodate many disabilities. We are so grateful to the AMBUCS members in Grand Rapids for their generosity.”

National AMBUCs, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization with a diverse membership dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities by providing therapeutic tricycles to individuals, awarding scholarships for therapists and performing community service for people with disabilities.

Challenge Mountain was established in 1984 as a non-profit organization and it continues to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation. Executive Director Elizabeth Gertz Looze explains, “At Challenge Mountain we believe that all people, regardless of ability, should have opportunities to experience life and adventure, and in doing so realize their personal value, strengths and abilities. The challenges faced and support discovered in these experiences help people become stronger individuals and community members. This gift is a wonderful example of how Great Things Happen Together at Challenge Mountain!”

For more information about Challenge Mountain or to get involved, contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231.582.1186.

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Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE June 2016

Resale Store Grand Opening

Thanks to the commitment of a generous community of donors and supporters, Challenge Mountain is excited to announce the Grand Opening of its new resale store location at 1100 Boyne Ave. in Boyne City. The new location of the Challenge Mountain Resale Store will be open for business on Saturday, June 18 and you are invited to join in the celebration.

The ribbon cutting will be at 10AM sharp and through 1PM attendees will enjoy food and fun while shoppers receive a 20% – 50% mystery discount off their purchase and Challenge Mountain tote bags – available while supplies last. Proceeds from Resale Store sales help Challenge Mountain enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation so mark your calendars to experience great shopping, great savings for a great cause.

Over the last six months, Challenge Mountain Board President, Bill Aten has led a crew of volunteers and contractors who have been working tirelessly to have the store ready for the summer months. The open floor plan of the new facility offers a greatly improved shopping experience and the donation area is easily accessible for dropping off items.

“We are so grateful for the support the Resale Store has received from the community and thrilled to enhance the experience for our shoppers and committed donors. The new space will increase our efficiency and allow us to display and rotate items more regularly. We strive to make the Resale Store a place shoppers want to frequent where they are guaranteed to find high quality and unique items at an affordable price,” stated Staci Payton, Resale Store Manager.

Since 1984 Challenge Mountain has built relationships that last a lifetime and fostered communities where differences are diminished, blurred and often erased. Over the years, the people in these communities have ensured Challenge Mountain continues to thrive. Today Challenge Mountain continues to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation. For more information about Challenge Mountain please visit the website www.challengemtn.org or contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231-582-1186.

Contact: Elizabeth Gertz LoozePress Release Photo 2 Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE April 2016

What’s New at Challenge Mountain? See How Great Things Happen Together!

Boyne City, MI (April 29, 2016) – There’s been a lot of buzz around Challenge Mountain over the past year. The 30th Anniversary winter festival attracting over 500 community members in January of 2015, the ongoing media coverage of year-round programming and the recent announcement of the new location of the Challenge Mountain Resale Store opening this summer in Boyne City – all of these happenings have been leading up to the most exciting news yet! Today, Challenge Mountain is proud to announce the launch of its new logo, tagline and website – challengemtn.org.

Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze commented, “This change reflects the development and progress of Challenge Mountain since its inception over three decades ago. The new logo, tagline and website represent the vibrancy, diversity and spirit of our participants, volunteers, staff and all who support our mission to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation.”

Challenge Mountain worked with Nickel Design, Inc. of Boyne City to develop a new color scheme, logo, tagline and website to represent the mission, work and people of Challenge Mountain. Elizabeth stated, “This is a very important and exciting time for Challenge Mountain.  Since 1984, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better. Our commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do will enable us to extend our programs to more individuals living with disabilities while better serving our communities.”

When asked the meaning behind the new tag-line, Elizabeth stated, “From Challenge Mountain program participants, volunteers and donors to Resale Store customers and contributors and everyone in between, Great Things Happen Together represents the commitment of those who make up the foundation of Challenge Mountain. Great things happen when barriers are dissolved and people come together for the wellbeing of others and that is exactly what Challenge Mountain is all about. People say that once you get involved with Challenge Mountain, it feels like family. There is no question that Challenge Mountain is made-up of a family of individuals who care about all people who together make a difference in the lives of many.”

Challenge Mountain has been an important part of our communities for over 30 years and this story is one to get excited about! Over the next few months, watch for updates to all elements of the organization which will be completely transitioned to reflect the new color scheme, logo and tagline by September 2016. Visit the Challenge Mountain website at challengemtn.org to see what all the buzz is about!

Like the Challenge Mountain and the Challenge Mountain Resale Store pages on FaceBook to see updates on upcoming events and learn what else is in store for Challenge Mountain in the months ahead.

Since 1985 Challenge Mountain has built relationships that last a lifetime and fostered communities where differences are diminished, blurred and often erased. Over the years, the people in these communities have ensured Challenge Mountain continues to thrive.  To learn more about Challenge Mountain or to get involved, contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231-582-1186.

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Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE March 2016

Challenge Mountain Announces What’s in Store!

Challenge Mountain has invested in a new facility for its Resale Store that will support the demands of current operations and provide a strong foundation for future growth. The mission of Challenge Mountain is to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation and the Resale Store is the organization’s primary funding source with sales going directly to support programming. In recognizing the important role the Resale Store plays in the organization’s future and as a community resource, the Challenge Mountain Board and staff took this opportunity to invest in the Store’s continued success.

The new Store will be located at 1100 Boyne Avenue and will open in early 2016. The new facility will offer increased sales space to accommodate a growing resale store, a prime location providing increased visibility, a structurally solid steel building offering a sound investment for the organization, easier access for donating goods and an open floorplan to effectively organize more merchandise and improve the shopping experience.

“With the current facility deteriorating and offering limited opportunity for growth, the timing of the purchase was critical,” stated Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze. However, a number of renovations are required in order for the new building to function as a resale store. Although purchasing the facility is a big step toward investing in Challenge Mountain’s future, there is still significant work to be done before we can open our doors.”

In order for the Resale Store to operate in its new location as soon as possible, the renovations will be completed in two phases. Phase I renovations on the newly acquired space will commence in November and are scheduled to be completed in early 2016. The full remodel will be complete by the end of October 2016. Like the Challenge Mountain Resale Store on Facebook and stay tuned to updates on the progress with the new Store. In the meantime, the current Resale Store located at 1158 Old M-75 Loop, Boyne City, MI 49712 will remain open during renovations of the new facility in effort to meet the ongoing needs of the community during the busy winter months.

Contributions for the building project are already coming in and through the generous support of The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Great Lakes Energy People Fund and hours of volunteer labor renovations have begun. Challenge Mountain and the Challenge Mountain Resale Store would not be successful if not for the committed volunteers, donors, shoppers and supporters. The organization will continue to seek support from individuals, foundations and businesses in hopes to gain their involvement in completing the renovations required to open the doors.

The store location is not the only thing changing at the Challenge Mountain Resale Store. Challenge Mountain would also like to welcome Staci Payton, Store Manager and Alaina Farrington, Assistant Store Manager to the Challenge Mountain Resale Store team. The Store’s leadership is committed to providing the highest standard of customer services and is already making improvements to the shopping experience. With every donated item and dollar spent at the Challenge Mountain Resale Store you support Challenge Mountain’s mission to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation.

Since 1985 Challenge Mountain has built relationships that last a lifetime and fostered communities where differences are diminished, blurred and often erased. Over the years, the people in these communities have ensured Challenge Mountain continues to thrive. To learn more about Challenge Mountain or to get involved, contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231-582-1186.

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Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE February 2016 For Immediate Release 

Great Things Happen Together 

Skiing down the slopes at our favorite ski resorts, taking a boat ride on the lake or a bike ride along the shoreline are recreational activities enjoyed by many in northern Michigan. Activities like this, that are simply a choice for most do not come easy for those living with disabilities but Challenge Mountain makes it possible for many to enjoy recreational activities that allow them to experience life and adventure!

In support of its efforts, Challenge Mountain recently received a $20,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor through the Charlevoix County Community Foundation. “The challenge grant is a tremendous gift to Challenge Mountain and with the intent to encourage others to support the renovations of the new Resale Store it will have a major impact on our effort to complete the project’” commented Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze.

“This is a very important project for Challenge Mountain because the improvement of the new facility will strengthen the Resale Store’s role as an important funding source for programming,” stated Executive Director Elizabeth Gertz Looze. At Challenge Mountain great things happen together and with the continued support of many generous individuals and foundations, including The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Charlevoix County Community Foundation and the Great Lakes Energy People Fund the new Challenge Mountain Resale Store is scheduled to open its doors in 2016. The new Resale Store will generate increased funds to meet the need for Challenge Mountain to reach a growing number of individuals living with disabilities as well as serve as an important community resource.

Challenge Mountain is working to build on its strong foundation of support in effort to open the doors of the new Resale Store this summer. To join in this effort by making a gift to the renovation of the new Resale Store, please contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231-582-1186.

Since 1985 Challenge Mountain has built relationships that last a lifetime and fostered communities where differences are diminished, blurred and often erased. Over the years, the people in these communities have ensured Challenge Mountain continues to thrive. Today Challenge Mountain continues to enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation.

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Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE January 2016 For Immediate Release 

The Challenge Mountain Challenge is back! 

Do you love winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing? Do you love being outdoors? If you love northern Michigan then of course you do! The second annual Challenge Mountain Challenge invites you to enjoy some winter fun and take a run down or snowshoe around Challenge Mountain. Choose your challenge – backcountry ski, snowshoe, sled or hike, the event has something for everyone!

On this special day anyone and everyone is welcome to ski, hike or snowshoe at Challenge Mountain. Don’t have the gear but would like to try skiing or snowshoeing or just want to take an extreme sled run? Whatever Challenge you choose, you can bring your own gear OR Challenge Mountain will provide you with all you need to join in the fun including adaptive equipment.

Visit Challenge Mountain at 2205 Springbrook Road, North, Boyne Falls, MI on Saturday, February 20th, 2016 from 10AM-1PM. For a $10 entry fee you can choose your challenge and enjoy food, refreshments and a raffle of great prizes!

An Event for All! Registration: 9:30 AM- 10:00 AM Choose your Challenge: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Backcountry ski, sled, snowshoe or hike Challenge Mountain Food & Refreshments: 12:00PM Raffle of GREAT prizes: 12:30 PM

At Challenge Mountain great things happen together and we hope you will join in raising awareness and funds in support of Challenge Mountain – northern Michigan’s first independent adaptive ski program for individuals living with disabilities. For over 30 years, Challenge Mountain has ensured that all people, regardless of ability, have opportunities to experience life and adventure! Are you up for the challenge?

Since 1985 Challenge Mountain has built relationships that last a lifetime and fostered communities where differences are diminished, blurred and often erased. Over the years, the people in these communities have ensured Challenge Mountain continues to thrive. Today Challenge Mountain continues to inspire enrich lives and empower individuals living with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation.

To learn more about Challenge Mountain or to get involved, contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231.582.1186.

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equine therapy

Contact: Elizabeth Gertz Looze Cell Phone: 231.582.1186

PRESS RELEASE As published in Petoskey News-Review Fall 2015

Community Support Offers Life-changing Experiences to Challenge Mountain Champs

Through the generous support of the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Christ Child Society of Harbor Springs and the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Challenge Mountain, 01158 M-75, Boyne City, is providing equine therapy and adventure education as part of the 2015 and 2016 program schedule.

In partnership with Northern Michigan Equine Therapy and Camp Daggett, school aged students living with disabilities in Emmet and Charlevoix counties are able to benefit from these programs. Laughs, smiles, friendship, support, and confidence filled the air this spring when 150 Challenge Mountain champions took part in these life enhancing experiences.

During one of the equine therapy sessions, there was a boy who did not speak very much unless prompted by the teacher or other school staff. When he got on the horse and the equine therapist started working with him he started talking and reacting to the activity all on his own.

While participating on the ropes challenge course there were two students on the high catwalk cable, one was more confident than the other, and they worked together and helped each other all the way across. Their classmates encouraged them from the ground and there was a tremendous sense of accomplishment after finishing the challenge together.

Equine therapy and adventure programs allow individuals living with disabilities an opportunity to develop muscle tone, balance and coordination, and so much more. Like all Challenge Mountain programs, participants also learn the importance of caring for others (both animals and humans). Activities like this enforce natural decision making and problem solving and do wonders for a person’s self-confidence.

Challenge Mountain believes that all people, regardless of ability, should have opportunities to experience life and adventure and in doing so realize their personal value, strength, and abilities. Through the equine therapy and ropes challenge course programs offered through Challenge Mountain, participants gain personal fulfillment through a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of acceptance which translates positively into their everyday lives. Equally as important, these activities provide the opportunity to share experiences and accomplishments with family and friends.

Challenge Mountain was established in 1984 as a nonprofit organization. The mission of Challenge Mountain is to enrich lives and empower individuals with disabilities through year-round adaptive recreation. To learn more about Challenge Mountain, contact Executive Director, Elizabeth Gertz Looze at director@challengemtn.org or call 231.582.1186

A special thank you to G. Randall Goss/Petoskey News-Review, Kim Ritsema Photography, and Aran Kessler Photo/Imaging for contributing many photos throughout the website.

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Fall 2016