By Renae Counter Explorebigsky.com Contributor

POLARIS – Over Presidents Day Weekend, Maverick Mountain will host a silent auction and ski-a-thon to purchase a sit mono-ski for Jesse Alberi.

In October 2008, Alberi was injured after his truck rolled off the road, severing his spine and resulting in loss of function in both legs. Since the accident, Alberi, a native of Dillon, has learned to ski using a sit mono-ski through Eagle Mount in Bozeman.

After seeing Alberi’s 5-year-old daughter learning to ski at Maverick, Randy Shilling, owner of Maverick, decided it was time to get Alberi back on the mountain.

The silent auction will take place on Feb. 17 at the Grasshopper Inn in Polaris. A live jam session will follow the auction with local bands, Rabbit Stew and Willy James. Alberi, an accomplished guitarist, will also be playing.

The ski-a-thon will take place the following day, Feb.18 at Maverick Mountain. Pledges can be made on a per run bases or by a flat donation. Alberi will be skiing the day of the event on a demo sit mono-ski.

Although they specialize in dual sit skis, Bob and Darwin of Mountain Man FFS Dual Skis in Bozeman have been assisting Alberi in fitting and recommendation of a sit mono-ski. Prior to the event, Alberi and longtime friend and employee at Maverick Mountain, Cory Birkenbuel, visited the Mountain Men, who hope to attend the event at Maverick.

The mono-ski will cost about $5,000, according to Birkenbuel.

The overall goal isn’t a set dollar amount, but rather to raise enough to get Alberi on the slopes this ski season, Birkenbuel said. Any additional money raised will be used to purchase lift tickets or set aside for use in a sit mono-ski program at Maverick.

“We’ve already raised a bunch of money,” Birkenbuel said. “That’s the way Dillon is, it’s a tight community, everyone knows Jesse. “

Donations to both the silent auction and ski-a-thon can still be made. For more information, contact Maverick at skimaverickmountain@gmail.com, visit skimaverick.com, or by calling (406) 834-3454.