For over 50 years, Sandy and Wayne Poulsen celebrated Sandy’s birthday at their home on the eastern edge of the Squaw Valley meadow. Now, with both parents gone and the estate for sale, Russell, the youngest of the seven Poulsens, thought it would be fitting to celebrate their mother’s 100th birthday with a fundraiser for a project his parents deeply cherished — a museum of Sierra and Olympic ski history.
Invitations went out to the Poulsens’ list of attendees and then to the Museum Foundation’s list. The $200 tickets sold out in one month. On Aug. 11, 200 people plus 30 Poulsen family members gathered on the lawn for appetizers, wine and an Argentine asado.
Bill Clark, former president of the SVSMF, spoke about the importance of collecting, preserving and sharing our winter sports heritage in a modern facility accessible to locals and visitors. Dave Antonucci, SVSMF board president, gave details about the interior — exhibit space in two wings, a hall of fame, theater/multi-use room, library, café, gift shop and public restrooms. Jill Milne, executive director, closed the talk with the announcement of a second NLTRA grant approved by Placer County, and hands went up with additional donations. The combination of community camaraderie, enthusiasm for the museum and nostalgia for the end of an era made the last Poulsen party an event to remember and raised $40,000 for the museum.