“The purpose in life is not just to be happy–but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.”
–A quote from Leo Rosten posted on the Sarah Burke Foundation Facebook page last week.
Without question Canadian freeskier legend Sarah Burke made a difference, whether it was running marathons to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, traveling to work with the Women’s Sport Foundation, coaching young skiers, or working on any other humanitarian efforts.
Now, nearly a year after her tragic death, Burke will continue to make a difference, thanks to the Sarah Burke Foundation, which officially launched Tuesday and is well positioned to carry on her legacy.
“Sarah had too many amazing qualities to list, but two of the most obvious ones were her love of winter sports, and her commitment to helping people in need,” Sarah’s husband and foundation president Rory Bushfield said in a statement. “We are honored to be able to continue Sarah’s practice of giving through the Sarah Burke Foundation and are grateful for the tremendous support we have received.”
According to the foundation’s website, its mission is to provide inspiration and support to those in need.
“The Sarah Burke Foundation is committed to the altruistic ideals embodied by Sarah’s life and her actions,” the mission statement reads. “The foundation will preserve Sarah’s goodwill and her actions by supporting and inspiring current and future generations. All support will allow us to carry on Sarah’s spirit and legacy by supporting others in sports and future generations.”
The Sarah Burke Foundation will act as a Scholarship Foundation for athletes, and will donate to organizations that were dear to Sarah’s heart, such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Three immediate fundraisers were announced with the foundation’s official launch: Sarah Burke Snowflake diamond jewelry necklaces, Lil Wayne limited edition TRUKFIT Sarah Burke T-shirts, and the Sarah Burke Memorial I/OS Smith Optics Goggles are on sale on the foundation website.
Burke, a pioneer of her sport who inspired women, especially those in freestyle skiing, died on Jan. 19, 2012 from injuries sustained during a training session in the half-pipe.
“When we all found out what was happening and we knew the actual outcome at the hospital, there was an expectation that we were going to do something in her honor,” Burke’s agent and foundation board member Michael Spencer told ESPN. “What better way than starting a foundation and trying to uphold the standards that she set so high for herself and everyone else.”
Image of Sarah Burke on the half-pipe from Wikimedia Commons.