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Hello to my MSFL family and those considering joining our life-changing organization.

My Father Jim Ellickson, who was one of the founding members of this great organization, included his kids in everything he did. This allowed my sister Kim and I to literally be raised within our MSFL community. Having started with this group more than four decades ago, it was one of the greatest honors of my life to be selected as the new President of Michigan Ski for Light. When I look at some of the incredible leaders this organization has had and the impact they have left on not only MSFL, but my personal life as well, I am humbled to have this opportunity to continue serving.

I certainly never expected one of my first acts as President to be the cancellation of our January 2021 event, but that is exactly what I am faced with doing today. The Executive Board reviewed our safety options and our financial obligations. The more we tried to look at ways of modifying our event to conform to the social distancing and safety protocols the more we realized it just would not work for our group.

We also asked the Executive Board to research the financial obligations we would have to meet if we tried to delay this decision. Unfortunately, we quickly realized these financial risks would be well beyond the means of our group to absorb.

I'd like to thank the board members, especially our Treasurer John Peiffer, for the work they put in to find all the facts and allow us to make an objective decision.

In true MSFL fashion, the story does not end here. In a typical year, we all invest a long weekend in this group. Even accounting for sleep (and who gets much of that when we are having that much fun) we all spend around 36 hours skiing, dancing, playing cards, sharing talents and catching up with life long friends.

I would like to challenge all of us to do the same this year, just not at the RAM Center. To support this goal and improve our organization at the same time, we are going to undertake a few actions at the Board and Committee levels to come up with opportunities to make our return in 2022 the best event we have ever held.

I will be working with a sub-committee to review the organization of our committees and their duties. We will then ask each of the Committee Chairs to compile a list of their duties and their current committee members. We plan to post all of these to our website so everyone can see what it takes to make this organization run and more importantly, where people can contribute their talents to help accomplish these commitments.

We want this organization to continue running in a fully transparent fashion and empower all of us to take ownership in this group we love so much.

As we work to prepare this information, I'd like to challenge everyone to start "participating" in your MSFL family now. Call some of your friends just to catch up, write a story about past experiences or keep a journal about this year's alternative activities. Most importantly, make sure to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Until we can slip and slide again,

Ted Ellickson
President Michigan Ski for Light