The Oregon Nordic Ski Foundation was founded in 1988
The Oregon Nordic Ski Foundation Story
The Oregon Nordic Ski Foundation, ONSF, (originally Mt. Hood Nordic Ski Foundation) was founded in 1988 after the dismal performance of the United States Nordic Ski Team athletes at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. Avid ski enthusiasts, Bill Boyce, an assembly mechanic, and Leonard Yoon, a local investment banker, spent an evening discussing the plight of competitive cross country skiing in the United States while attending the spring convention of the Cross Country Ski Areas Association in Sun Valley, Idaho. During the discussion, Bill asked the question: “Why can’t Nordic skiers from the USA compete favorably against the athletes from much smaller countries?”
Within a week Leonard came back with a completed IRS non-profit application. He also located another non-profit sport foundation that funded its charitable activities by sponsoring a bingo game. In a short time, ONSF had leased a building in Eugene, Oregon and started its own bingo operation. For the next 15 years they used bingo as their major fund raiser.
For 16 years, non-profit organizations supporting Oregon Olympic sports raised funds through bingo. Along with supporting their individual missions, each non-profit donated part of their bingo income to the Oregon Sports Trust (OST). OST helped many high schools, universities, sports clubs and communities build, refurbish or expand sports facilities. They have also been closely involved in several major sports events such as the Oregon World Masters Games.
ONSF has supported many individual athletes, children programs, Oregon high school Nordic ski leagues, funded US Forest Service studies, supported Nordic ski venues, help fund Nordic ski events and promoted cross country skiing throughout the state of Oregon.. From our first grant in 1989 through the end of October, 2016, over $1,067,000 in grants have been awarded to organizations and individual Nordic skiers. ONSF has also provided several no interest loans to other local sports related non-profit organizations to help their endeavors.
In 2002, bingo operations failed to make a profit, partly due to the smoking bans in public buildings throughout Oregon. ONSF closed its bingo operations and sold its bingo building. The funds from the building sale and other donations have been supporting ONSF the past 14 years..
The board of directors of ONSF decided to leave a lasting legacy to the rich history of Nordic Skiing in Oregon by sponsoring a museum exhibit. The traveling museum exhibit of Nordic Skiing History opened spring of 2016 in Bend Oregon.