Friends, community and Smith Sport Optics rallying to support injured friend

The "Hukari Hoe Down" on April 15 will raise moeny for Teresa Hukari, dealer services manager at Smith Sport Optics, who was severely injured in a skiing accident in Sun Valley on March 4.

Teresa Hukari, dealer services manager at Smith Sport Optics, was severely injured in a skiing accident in Sun Valley on March 4. (See our story, Industry veteran, Teresa Hukari, needs your prayers and positive vibes.)

Hukari dictated a letter to her sister as a thank you for all the support she has received, and the local Ketchum paper printed the letter. In it, Hukari said, "I was on my way to enjoying record fine days on Baldy, when something inexplicable happened. I will never know from what random black hole I plucked this karmic card, but cruising down I-80 just sliding along, loose and easy I caught an edge and instantly was thrown into the trees. It could have happened anywhere, to anyone. Had I landed in an open space I'd have walked away with nothing more than a scare, but instead it turned out quite differently."

Hukari fractured virtually every vertebra in her neck, with only C2 remaining intact and unaffected. She remains paralyzed from the chest down, with only limited movement of her right arm. As you can imagine, this type of accident is devastating in every way -- emotionally, physically, financially. Her friends, her community and her employer, Smith Optics, have stepped up with overwhelming support.

To that end, a benefit for Hukari has been scheduled to raise money to help with her medical expenses. Mark your calendars for April 15, 6 p.m. for what is being billed as the "Hukari Hoe Down." Tickets will be available at Atkinson's and Smith (in Ketchum, Idaho) and are $30 per person. The event will be held in the Sun Valley Inn Limelight Room. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. No host bar. There will be a silent auction of more than 50 items. A Contra band will play with a caller, so dancin' shoes are in order.

In a message emailed to SNEWS®, Teresa's family wrote: "Some of you know Teresa, many of you don't, and we realize time and distance will preclude most of you from attending. If you can't be there in body, just send along a positive vibe or two...I'm sure they'll get there somehow. Thanks."

Julie McGregor ( or Angie Johnson ( at Smith Sport Optics are coordinating donations. Even if you can't attend, please consider sending your support.

Hukari's brother, Bruce, has created a website, so friends can post photos, send best wishes and more. Go to


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