Joe and Sara Bishop
In 2000, Joe and Sara Bishop packed up their Conifer home and made the move to Steamboat Springs so their two boys could ski. Hunter was 9 and Phillip was 8. Sara explains, “We chose Steamboat because Joe always had a love of this community. Part of the deal of us moving here was the package that our boys would attend Lowell Whiteman Lower School (now called the Steamboat Mountain School) and also participate in the SSWSC programs. That was it!"
Sara recalls one of Joe’s earliest contributions to the Club was the purchase of hand drills for placing poles. He either figured out staff didn’t have the right equipment or not enough drills to be efficient. That was the beginning of a long history of the Bishop family giving.
Joe and Sara’s involvement and dedication to the SSWSC has been substantial for over two decades. Their gifts have generously supported the SSWSC Endowment as well as the Transportation Safety Initiative to transport our athletes and coaches to training opportunities and competitions. They continued supporting the SSWSC through their annual giving and attended numerous fundraising events.
THE BISHOP FAMILY LEGACY
Excerpts from the full interview below:
Going through the SSWSC programs, what did you love the most?
Phillip: As a kid going through the program there were a bunch of different friends I made who I never had before because I grew up in an area where there weren’t many kids around us. So, I built a great friend-base there. After training was done we would all go off in our little groups and we would each take lead on which run we knew best … and say, hey we are going down this and we’ll meet at the base or we’re going to meet at the top of this mountain or whatever.
And it transferred over into my adult life being that I learned how to socialize in different groups. I learned how to have leadership in situations where I know I can probably lead. Just being able to have confidence. Imagine it is like going off a huge jump that you’re not sure ... something you’ve not done before. You’re not sure of what the other end looks like. You’re just going to try it and see how it goes. I think that’s a big thing that transferred to my adult life. It’s like you never know how things are going to go but if you think about it too long you might not do it. You might as well take that leap or you’re never going to do it.
I learned the ability to accept failure of any given goal and to then use that as fuel/motivation for the same goal has been a hard learned lesson for me. My coaches were consistent in their passion for training both body and mind to work together to overcome the hurdles associated with a competitive environment. A strong body is nothing without a strong mind behind it.
I would tell a new family to the community about the SSWSC to just do it! The SSWSC is a family beyond your own. The friendships made are ones to last. There truly is no stronger sense of community than that of you and your friends simply doing that which makes you happy. Skiing or boarding, jumping or racing, freestyle or biathlon; everyone is family.
INTERVIEW WITH PHILLIP & HUNTER BISHOP
In 2018, The SSWSC honored the Bishop’s as the 105th Winter Carnival Grand Marshals. Joe always kept $2 bills in his pocket and took great pleasure in handing them out to the Royalty during the Opening Ceremonies.
Joe passed away in January, 2019 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Sara said, “He was an honest and caring man. He had a huge heart. He enjoyed supporting many skiers and some Olympic candidates throughout their careers.” In 2020, Sara established the Joe Bishop Winter Carnival Grand Marshal Scholarship awarding two SSWSC active and qualified athletes in our programs. Sara continues to support the SSWSC through her generous sponsorship of Foundation fundraising events. Her granddaughter Lillie started in the Little Toots program two years ago and is now anxiously looking forward to participating in U8 this season.
Sara emphasizes, “The SSWSC is such a huge part of our community – we are Ski Town, U.S.A. Joe would say it is very important to have this organization available to any kid who moves here. It’s our culture, it is part of the town’s charm and the Club is Steamboat’s history. It’s also why we give to the SSWSC Endowment. We always enjoyed watching the little ones ski down Howelsen Hill and we want the Club to be here for their children’s children. Our family will always be part of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club legacy."
"I really need this in my life, and I need it to be in my family's life."- Phillip Bishop
Member Spotlight: The Bishop Family
Hunter and his wife Kersten.
Sons: Finnigan 6, Waco 3 and Gauge 1½ years.
Joe Bishop hands out $2 bills to
Little Princesses at Winter Carnival
A Little Princess accepts a $2 bill
from Joe Bishop
Phillip and his wife Alana and daughter, Lillie