Photo by Barry West
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation hosted its 22nd annual Janss Pro-Am Classic over the course of three days, March 28-30, 2019. Held in memory of the late Bill Janss, the event champions things that Bill believed in; community, younger generations, skiing and celebration. This year, Rolls-Royce was the title sponsor for the event – participants had the opportunity to test drive the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan. The event’s theme, “The Foolish Games We Play,” sparked many a creative interpretation for the highly pertinent matter of costumes. From “The Price is Right” to “Call of Duty,” from “Beer Pong” to “Politics – The Do Nothings,” inventive spins on the theme made for a pleasing variety of attire throughout the weekend. The theme was celebrated all weekend; the gala was turned into a game show and included interactive games throughout the evening.

A total of 24 teams participated in this year’s event. The final four teams that vied for the Janss Cup were Clue, Strip Poker, Operation and Dominoes. When the racing was over, Dominoes walked away with the win. The team was comprised of Derek Agnew, Bard Harrington, Amanda Porino, Katherine Rixon, Paul Solomon and pro Heather McPhie Watanabe. Strip Poker was the runner-up in second place, followed by Clue in third and Operation in fourth.

The “Most Inspirational Award” was voted on by participants and sponsored by Lee Gilman Builders; John Lee and Mike Gilman have sponsored this award and participated in the Janss for seven consecutive years. This year’s winners were Clay Wawner and Jonna Mendes, who both represented The Price is Right team. Also decided by vote was “Best in Show,” which went to racers with the best costume. The Price is Right received top marks followed by Strip Poker in second and Larper in third.

The “Janss Oscar Award” (for the participant most in character) went to Mike Halstead of Politics – The Do Nothings, who quite accurately impersonated POTUS throughout the weekend. “Speed Dial your PT,” sponsored by Zenergy and acknowledging the best crashes of the weekend, went to Wes Powell of Beer Pong and Heather Black of Clue.

The Speed Cup champion for the fourth straight year went to a team of SVSEF alumni – Cards Against Humanity. The team was comprised of Carl Rixon (18 straight years on winning Speed Cup team), Hunter Storey, KJ Savaria, Austin Savaria and pro Biche Rudigoz. In second was Big Buck Hunter, and the third fastest team was Operation. All three Speed Cup teams were made up of SVSEF alumni, current racers and coaches, and, in the case of Jim DeWolfe, SVSEF board president.


Photo by Barry West

The Janss could not be what it is without the support and generosity of its benefators, patrons and volunteers. Special thanks go to Robert Cimino and family, host of headquarters tent, Sun Valley Company’s race department, the race crew of Brian Ros and Chelle and Baird Gourlay, announcer Steve Porino, MC for the weekend Travis Jones, photographers Taylor Stoecklein and Barry West, and the countless volunteers who generously gave their time.

Thank you, as well, to our sponsors for helping make this event possible:

Rolls-Royce, Sun Valley Company, Jim & Barbara Cimino Foundation, That’s Entertainment, At Your Place, Atkinsons’, BC Builders, Beyond Coastal, Bigwood Bread, Boozie, Chobani, The Cellar Pub, Chums, Davis Embroidery, Fits Socks, Galena Lodge, Krispy Kreme, Josh and Nancy Glick, Kipp Nelson, Lee Gilman Builders, Limelight Hotel, Sherbine Farms, Starbucks, Sun Valley Magazine, Sweet Turns, Tabasco, The Haven, 3 Finger Wine Company, Tom and Anne Warde, Warfield Distillery & Brewery, Washington Federal, and Zenergy.