Avalanche Victim's Family Starts Memorial Avalanche Fund For Avalanche Dogs

In January of 2019, two men, Corey Borg-Massanari and Matt Zonghetti lost their lives when they became caught up in an inbounds avalanche at Taos Ski Valley. There have been several acts taken as a memorial to the two men with the latest being a fund started to get avalanche dogs onto ski mountains. 

Corey Borg-Massanari's family announced yesterday the launch of the Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation, a memorial foundation established to raise funds for outdoor sports safety, with the focus being on avalanche dogs. 

Currently, the foundation is looking to fund its first avalanche dogs at Taos Ski Valley for 2021 and at Vail in 2022. These resorts were chosen as they are said to be two of Corey's favorites. 

Leland Thompson, a Taos Ski Valley ski patrol member and owner of the avalanche dog who found Corey, has committed to helping the foundation with the avalanche dog application process.

“I’m honored to work with the Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation and keep the celebration of Corey’s life and spirit alive,” said Thompson. “We are humbled by the warm, cherished relationship that we have built with Corey’s brave family, albeit borne out of tragedy.”

Another helping hand to get the foundation off and running comes from an anonymous donor that has committed $20,000 to the foundation, with another $30,000 in matching donations. 

For those that would like to donate to the Corey Borg Massanari Foundationwhich is also a partner fund of the Initiative Foundation, you may head to the website linked just below or mail a check with the memo of "Corey Borg-Massanari" to Initiative Foundation, 405 1st St, SE, Little Falls, MN 56345.

Support Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation on GiveMN

Corey Borg-Massanari was raised in Brainerd, Minn. and graduated from Brainerd High School in 2015. He moved to Vail, Colo., to attend Colorado Mountain College. Corey was an active outdoorsmen and loved skiing, camping, fishing, zip-lining, snowmobiling and riding dirt bike. Corey passed away on January 21, 2019, after being caught in an in-bounds avalanche at Taos Ski Valley.

“Corey died doing something he loved fiercely - skiing,”
said Corey’s mother and the Advisor of the Corey-Borg Massanari Foundation, Bobbie Gorron. “In his memory, we will raise funds to purchase equipment and training for outdoor safety and place avalanche dogs at ski resorts around the country. These incredible animals, along with the ski patrol, work hard to keep skiers and riders safe. We credit the Taos ‘avi’ dog Izzy with finding Corey after the avalanche.”

Prior to the establishment of the fund, there have been other memorials dedicated to Corey Borg-Massanari. These include Corey's former employer, Zip Adventures in Vail, renaming his favorite zipline course to "How Was That", as well as a handmade Adirondack chair, made by another one of Corey's employers, Joe Smith, who manages the Patagonia store in Vail Village. The chair has Corey's name etched into it and was presented at Corey's memorial service, but has since been permanently installed at the Patagonia store. Also, earlier this year, both Corey and Matt Zonghetti, who was also killed in the avalanche, were honored with new trail names at Taos Ski Village, "She Gone" for Corey and "Z-Chute" for Matt.

Photo - Corey Borg-Massanari posing with a dog - Credit: The Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation


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