Tom Blasco doesn't want the Warren Area Snow Sports Club to be the best kept secret in Warren County.
He wants everyone to know about it. Especially those who enjoy skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, sledding, skating, skijoring, winter camping, etc.
It's all downhill from there.
The goal of the Warren Area Snow Sports Club is "to promote the love of all winter sports, through active participation in the 'discipline' of your choice.
"Growing the network of friends and ultimately enhancing personal experiences through education, awareness, participation and community," according to the WASSC Facebook page.
Well, the first goal is to actually keep the club rolling.
For information, call Tom Blasco at 730-5678 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Blascos, Tom and his wife Kellie, were a part of the group when it was essentially a school club. Now that it's no longer associated with the Warren County School District, they want to take it to the community.
"Ski clubs are what this originally was," said Blasco, who was a member of a school ski club dating back to when he was in junior high school in the 1980's.
When he and Kellie, a teacher in the Warren County School District, took over the group in the 2008-09 school year, there were separate clubs for Beaty and Warren.
With Kellie as the newly-named Warren Area Snow Sports Club advisor, a hundred or so kids showed up for the first informational meeting; 45 were active in the club's first season.
Through private funding, the Blascos are taking the Warren Area Snow Sports Club into its fourth season.
"For me, I've been actively involved at Holiday Valley (Ski Resort - holidayvalley.com - in Ellicottville, N.Y.) since the 1999-2000 ski season," said Tom Blasco, who has been on their staff as a host and/or safety patroller.
The first season, the Blascos advertised within the schools and combined Beaty and Warren into one club. It grew to 60-some students, plus adult chaperones and advisors, last year.
It was WAHS graduate Melanie Orth's favorite activity while in school; she took part every Saturday night during the eight-week seasons for three years. She was a member all three years with the Blascos and now plans to continue in the Warren Area Snow Sports Club after she's graduated. How?
The club is now for anyone and everyone in the community, specifically but not limited to students throughout Warren County School District.
"I think there's a lot more potential now," said Orth, whose father and sister also love to ski. Orth said activities can range from Holiday Valley to now anywhere the group can have a well-organized activity.
"From this day forward, this is unprecedented," said Blasco. "It's now open to the public."
They've adopted a new set of rules that blend the school district's rules from previous clubs and the rules of the resort, and hope to soon adopt a board of directors.
"Ski patrol and advisors would come on the bus and talk about wearing helmets or conditions," said Orth. That just touches the surface of the club's emphasis on safety.
Holiday Valley's winter sports season officially opens on Nov. 25. This is the unofficial start of the Warren Area Snow Sports Club's riding season.
Blasco is starting at square one - from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week, people interested in the club are asked to come to Allegheny Outfitters, 2101 Pennsylvania Ave. E., for information. A $5 membership card to the club may be purchased at this time. This buys paper and ink.
"That puts your (contact information) in the database," said Blasco.
If there's a winter event anywhere being held by the club, you'll know about it, Blasco said.
The club is partnering with Holiday Valley, Hollyloft Ski Shop in Jamestown, N.Y., Allegheny Outfitters in Warren, and the City Garage Ski Shop in Ellicottville, N.Y.
The WASSC card allows members discounts on equipment and rentals at these businesses.
"I'm not asking that everyone show up on those dates ready to buy $500 combo passes for their son or daughter," said Blasco.
From Oct. 5-7, Blasco would need the paperwork and agreements returned.
"Now I know what my numbers are (for the club)," he said.
Blasco will then have time from those dates to take the membership agreements to Holiday Valley "before the price goes up," he said.
This is also the time he will finalize with Brink's Charter whether the group needs one bus or more per trip. He will also know better who is interested in being a chaperone, volunteer, board member and the like. The more the merrier, from students to parents, he said.
The group will stress "active participation" to make the club grow and thrive, he said.
"It's the kids' club; it's your club," he said.
What Blasco provides most is a link to Holiday Valley, and area businesses, and he promotes "active participation," "safety," and "zero tolerance" through promotional materials and presentations by the National Ski Patrol, etc.
The only difference from years past is the marketing, which has gone from schools to the Internet.
The Warren Area Snow Sports Club has a Facebook page that's received comments from as far as Tampa, Fla.
"We're connecting the dots, picking up momentum and looking forward to a great year," said Blasco. "Talk to your friends, family, talk to everybody."