Far West Rebuilt
The conflict between USSA and Far West came to a head in the 80s. Following the 1983 USSA convention in Boston [referred to by some as the Boston Tea Party], USSA voted to de-emphasize their recreational programs and concentrate on supporting the US Ski Teams.
The Amateur Athletic Act of 1978 was used to create a national governing body that required a focus on the national competitive effort. The United States Recreational Ski Association [USRSA] was founded as the national recreational organization and Far West withdrew from USSA to begin rebuilding the association. Clubs were left to determine which association(s) they wanted to affiliate with – USSA, USRSA, and/or Far West.
Meanwhile, the race leagues of Far West formed an independent nonprofit corporation, named the Far West Racing Association [FWRA], to focus on their specialized programs. FWRA continued to generate operating funds through sponsorship, the Los Angeles Ski Dazzle ski swap, and race fees. The president of FWRA currently serves as a member of the Far West Board of Directors.
On November 6, 1984, the Executive Committee of Far West met to decide on the direction the association should take. This committee proposed a new set of bylaws that were approved at the 53rd Annual Far West Convention held at the Oakland Airport Hilton, May 17-19, 1985. Far West was restored as an all-volunteer organization with Janie “Frankie” Hansen as president. To encourage clubs to stay with Far West, dues were waived and are not required by clubs as long as they belong to a member Council.
Far West Today
As an all-volunteer organization without dues paying members, Far West had to figure out a way fund their numerous programs. The annual FWSA convention, hosted by Balboa Ski Club, held at the Irvine Hilton & Towers in Irvine, California on May 16-18, 1986 was historic.
Special programs attracted a record number of delegates. More importantly, the first annual Silent Auction was introduced and managed byJane Wyckoff. The continued success of this fundraiser set the stage for enabling financial support of Far West programs for the future.
The 90s saw the rebuilding of the Far West travel program byGene Fulkerson with both domestic and international trips being offered. The pubic affairs program underMike Sanford was rejuvenated and has assumed a significant role on the national stage on a wide variety of issues—area development, safety, transportation, insurance, taxation, consumer advocacy and snowsports history.
The council development program has had dramatic successes in the last two decades. Arizona Ski Council and Northwest Ski Club Council [then Portland Area Ski Club Council or PASCC] joined Far West in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
Sierra Council built a strong race program and in 1996 once again became actively involved in Far West. In 1999, Far West became one of the founding members of the National Ski Council Federation [NSCF]. The Intermountain Council, covering Colorado, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Wyoming joined in 2008.
Far West has embraced social media in an effort to expand its membership base. We can be found on Facebook, we have a Twitter account, we are posting videos on YouTube, we have added QR codes to our print materials and our web site has been redesigned, overhauled and updated. In 2013, PayPal was added for trip and convention payments. Be sure to visit us online at fwsa.org.