Marquette Mountain once again backs Cheer Club

MARQUETTE – Marquette Mountain Ski Area once again played its part in helping the Cheer Club.

Vern Barber, general manager of the ski area, dropped off two big boxes full of toys for needy children Friday at The Mining Journal.

Anyone who brought in a toy worth at least $10 to Marquette Mountain Thursday received a free pass. Not only was it a generous act, it was a good return on investment financially as a day pass costs $25 during this part of the season, Barber said.

The Cheer Club is a joint effort between The Mining Journal and the Salvation Army to provide toys for the holiday season.

The weather unfortunately played a part in hampering the toy drop-off, although Barber still called the effort a “win-win” for the skiers and kids.

“I’m really impressed,” Barber said, “knowing the conditions that people perceived we had because of the school closings and the rain freeze.”

He said it was mostly college students dropping off toys Thursday.

“They get into it too,” Barber said.

Many ski hills offer just a free pass at the start of the season, he said.

“We prefer to not just do free ski, but leverage it into some kind of a benefit so everybody wins,” Barber said.

The donors gave a wide variety of toys, including stuffed animals, an electronic guitar, a skateboard, the game Mancala and a radio-controlled 360-degree rally car.

Thursday marked the fourth year Marquette Mountain participated in the Cheer Club.

Anyone can help the Cheer Club by dropping off unwrapped toys through Dec. 20 at Mining Journal offices in Marquette and Ishpeming, the Marquette and Ishpeming offices of the Salvation Army, Marquette Township Hall, ACE Hardware in Gwinn and Bell Hospital in Ishpeming.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is