Tommy Valentine would have enjoyed attending Saturday’s challenge ski event at Wild Mountain.
“He loved to ski,” said his sister, Susie Valentine.
The All In, All The Time Foundation is hosting the inaugural Tommy V Challenge Ski Race and Ski/Board-A-Thon at Wild Mountain Ski Area in Taylors Falls March 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event is being held in honor of Special Operator Senior Chief Valentine, a U.S. Navy SEAL and Ham Lake native, who died in a parachute training accident Feb. 13, 2008 while preparing for his ninth deployment.
Proceeds from this event will support The All In, All The Time Foundation, which assists the surviving spouses and children of fallen service members.
The Tommy V Challenge allows for participation in three different ways: a giant slalom ski race, a ski/snowboard-a-thon in which participants complete a specified number of runs over a given time period and a silent auction. Events are open to all ages and abilities.
“Our goal with this event is to honor Tom’s sacrifice as well as raise awareness and support in our community as to the needs of the surviving spouses and children of our fallen,” said event chairperson and former classmate Jared Scribner.
Valentine loved skiing and raced for the Blaine High School ski team. As a result, he spent the better part of his winters on the hills of Wild Mountain and other ski areas throughout Minnesota.
“As a SEAL, Tom’s favorite deployments were winter ones to Alaska, Germany, Norway and Sweden,” said Valentine’s widow and All In, All The Time Fund founder Christina Valentine. “He taught most of his teammates how to Telemark and was renowned in the SEAL community as a Telemark master.”
“A ski event is the perfect way to honor Tom and Wild Mountain was a natural choice for hosting this event,” said Scribner.
After graduating from high school, Valentine joined the U.S. Navy and served over 18 years as a SEAL, including a demanding 10-year tour with the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) – often referred to as SEAL Team 6.
During his distinguished career, Valentine was awarded the Silver Star (the third highest Armed Forces decoration), three Bronze Stars and numerous other medals and awards.
As a leader, Valentine would challenge his team by asking, “At what level are you willing to participate?” To which, the only acceptable response was, “All in, all the time!”
Valentine is survived by his wife and children.
The All In, All The Time Fund
The All In, All The Time Fund is managed by CharitySmith, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps maintain and administer memorial funds. The fund’s goal is to assist in filling the interim financial needs of the surviving spouses and children of fallen service members. Examples of assistance include legal fees (wills, estate management fees, etc.), household and auto repairs, counseling assistance (outside the military), etc.
For more event information, visit www.tommyv.org.
Kelly Johnson is at [email protected]