Youth’s legacy lives on in foundation’s free classes

January 12, 2010

By David Hayes

David Pettigrew, an avid outdoorsman, died in 2005 in a snowboarding accident, but his legacy continues on in free safety classes provided by a foundation started by his parents, Marna and Edward Pettigrew, of Issaquah.thedavidpettigrewmemorialfoundation.com

David Pettigrew, an avid outdoorsman, died in 2005 in a snowboarding accident, but his legacy continues on in free safety classes provided by a foundation started by his parents, Marna and Edward Pettigrew, of Issaquah.thedavidpettigrewmemorialfoundation.com

In 2005, Marna and Edward Pettigrew lost their son David to a snow boarding accident. Since then, the Issaquah couple has been turning their personal tragedy into a teachable moment for the greater community in the sports he loved most.

An avid outdoorsman who was into flyfishing, skiing, snowboarding and golfing, David died in a snowboarding accident at Alpental Ski Resort.

“Through the help of his friends and siblings, we established a foundation in his memory,” Marna Pettigrew said.

Not a year after his death, his friends hosted a golf tournament in his honor. A nonprofit organization soon followed in 2007.

The David Pettigrew Memorial Foundation provides skiers and snowboarders with free training and education, rescue equipment and knowledgeable instructors. The foundation has donated tracker beacons and accompanying safety backpacks to local ski patrols, and granted scholarships to local ski patrollers to attend the Association of Professional Patrollers Workshop and the International Snow Science Workshop.The foundation’s classes are growing in popularity. Marna Pettigrew said just two were offered last year. That number has grown to 14 this season, run by an all-volunteer force at Alpental, Stevens Pass and Mission Ridge.

“There’s been a tremendous response,” Marna Pettigrew said. “I’m thrilled that something very positive came out of this.”

Edward Pettigrew said the primary fundraiser for the foundation remains a golf tournament. To entice more participants, he said the event was moved from the less seasonable month of October to August.

The Pettigrews said they feel the foundation is filling a niche that was never available before now.

“The response has been phenomenal,” Edward said. “To offer educational classes for skiers and snowboarders, if we can protect and ultimately save a life or two, then we’ve done our job.”

Sign up

See a complete list of free classes, times and locations at www.thedavidpettigrewmemorialfoundation.com.

David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, dhayes@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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