San Francisco, CA, Oct. 8--Double Olympic ski champion Andrea Mead Lawrence is the first West Coast regional finalist to be announced for the Texaco Star Award. She has brought the same fervor to environmental and conservation causes in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains that she used when racing in the Olympics. Lawrence was honored Oct. 8 at the black-tie San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Ball at the Ritz Carlton.
The first annual Texaco Star Award honors the contributions of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team alumni to their communities. Five regional finalists - from the Midwest, Intermountain, Rocky Mountains, East and West Coast - have been selected. A $1,000 check will be presented to the charity of their choice. The winner of the Texaco Star Award will be chosen from the regional finalists with $10,000 being donated in his or her name to their favorite charity during the New York Ski & Snowboard Ball on Nov. 8.
"We commend Andrea for her hard work and accomplishments in preserving the Sierra Nevada environment," said Polly Rua, Manager of Sponsorships. "This Award, developed in partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, embodies Texaco's commitment to operate with concern for the environment and to recognize our responsibilities to the communities around the world in which we do business."
"This is a wonderful award that represents my belief that you can be a world-class athlete for so many years, but it's the rest of your life that really counts and you must put energy into your community," said Lawrence, who has designated the Mono Lake Committee to be the recipient of the $1,000 given in her name. "The Mono Lake Committee is a group of people who represent everything I would aspire to. What they have, and all their principles - for me - are so right in terms of ethics, morals and environmental principles."
Growing up in Rutland, Vt., Lawrence's father died when she was ten. She credits her mother's strength and her participation on the U.S. Ski Team and in the Olympics as giving her "enormous ideals, inner qualities and a value-driven inner strength." In 1948, at age 15, Lawrence competed in the first of her three Olympics and at the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway, she captured the gold medal in both the slalom and the giant slalom. During her racing career, Lawrence won ten U.S. championships - a record that still stands today.
After retiring from ski racing she became involved in community activities in Aspen, Colo., where she lived with her family. In 1968, she and her five children moved to the Mammoth Lakes area of the Sierra where she became active with the Mono Lake Committee and also helped form the conservation group, Friends of Mammoth, to battle high-rise construction. In 1982, Lawrence was elected as a Mono County Supervisor and served in this position until 1999. Recently, Lawrence helped form another organization, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, to coordinate the activities of the many environmental groups in the region.
The annual San Francisco Ski & Snowboard Ball, one of the premier fundraising events for the U.S. and Snowboard Team Foundation, was held Oct. 8 at the Ritz Carlton. For more details, contact the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation at 435.647-2023 or 1.800.809.SNOW.