Outdoor Outreach Leader, and Gramicci Athlete,

Gramicci is proud to share a triumphant win for its sponsored young athlete, Ryan Hudson. Hudson a staff leader and former enrolled youth at Outdoor Outreach, was honored with the “Young Gun Award” at The Masters North Face’ event.
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Outdoor Outreach Leader, and Gramicci Athlete,
Earns “Young Gun” Award at The North Face Masters' Snowboard Event

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (2/12/2010)— Gramicci the 27-year old originator of authentic climbing and outdoor lifestyle apparel is proud to share a triumphant win for its sponsored young athlete, Ryan Hudson. Hudson a staff leader and former enrolled youth at Outdoor Outreach, an organization that takes inner city youth on life changing trips to the outdoors, was recently honored with the “Young Gun Award” at The Masters North Face' premier event in Big Mountain snowboarding.

The first ‘Masters' event of three rounds took place in Snowbird, Utah, January, 22nd -25th. This week will be the second competition at Chrystal Mountain, WA, February 9th-12th , and the final in the series at Kirkwood, CA., February 25th-27th. Big Mountain snowboarders have not had the opportunity to put their skill and talent to work against other athletes in a competitive arena. The North Face Masters is the first of its kind.

Ryan Hudson is also making firsts. Hudson far exceeded his own expectations and earned a 17th position over all in a competitive world event of 76 riders. The Masters was also Hudson's first formal competition. The North Face (TNF) Young Gun award recognizes riders under the age of 25 that demonstrate raw talent and innovation in their riding style. A TNF Young Gun is selected at each Masters competition and presented with a trophy. (see attached image) 

The overall series TNF Young Gun Award receives $2,000 in cash.

Ryan's story is bigger than the Mountains he rides. Outdoor Outreach whose mission is to empower at-risk and underprivileged youth to make positive, lasting changes in their lives through comprehensive outdoor programming, is one of the few programs in the country that utilizes outdoor physical experiences to provide youth with the support, relationships, resources and opportunities they need to become successful adults. The program did just that for Hudson, homeless from 7 -15 years of age and now twenty-one, is living in Utah perfecting his passion for riding with the aspiration of becoming a professional rider and alternatively studying graphic design, music and working as a leader at Outdoor Outreach. Ryan's Blog: http://www.gramicci.com/neverthenorm/

In nine years, Outdoor Outreach has taken more than 3,500 youth on over 1,000 outings, including rock climbing, snowboarding, surfing, snorkeling, mountain biking and backpacking.

Hudson shares his recent account, “My original goal was to place top 30 and move on with my life, I would have been pleased with 28th even 30th but, to my surprise I rose way above my own bar and came out the "Young Gun.” It is the first trophy I had ever won for anything in my entire life, I wanted to cry on the podium but I held it in for media sake. Crushing a goal you set for yourself is an accomplishment worth achieving.”

Gramicci, supporting Outdoor Outreach since 2006, contributes a portion of sales from it's Graphic Organic Tees to the San Diego based non-profit.

“Ryan is an amazing guy, along with being a gifted athlete. We're proud of his Young Gun Award and know he's going to light it up in Washington,” said Marty Weening, President of Gramicci. http://www.gramicci.com

The Outdoor Outreach is a truly comprehensive program with a ten-year history of providing new beginnings for young people that have lived a life time of street challenges. Included below for further reading is Ryan's story.
We think it important to include what Outdoor Outreach framed for his future and the dynamic man he has become.

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Ryan's Story:
“My name is Ryan Hudson. I'm 21 years old and have been part of Outdoor Outreach for seven years. As far back as I can remember I grew up in and out of homeless shelters and schools, living both on the streets and in cars. There were brief moments in my life where we actually had a home, but these weren't lasting moments. I remember being really young, maybe 8, and wandering around the city from late at night to early morning digging in trash cans and dumpsters in the back of apartments not knowing exactly what I was looking for. I'd see my mom with tears in her eyes every day.

When I was 15 I moved into Toussaint Teen Center, a homeless shelter for at-risk, underprivileged teens. That winter was the first time I met Chris Rutgers and learned about the Outdoor Outreach Program. They took a group of us up to Big Bear for a four day snowboard trip. It was there that I experienced my first time outside the big city and in the mountains, the first time in my life seeing and feeling snow, as well as my first time ever strapping into a snowboard… with Chris' encouragement was all I needed to accomplish what I didn't know I could do, the best I've ever done. Before this, I didn't even know what snow felt like, though I knew after that day something was going to be different about my future.

That same season I was offered a position in the Leadership Program to help instruct kids in similar programs, and from similar backgrounds. This double whammy of both snowboarding as s job and helping others with history like mine was the perfect job for me. Every season for the next five seasons I spent most of my winter weekends in the mountains of Big Bear and Mammoth Mountain. I was learning new tricks, becoming more familiar with the sport, perfecting my own style and gaining the respect and gratefulness of other students. The Leadership Program was opening doors that had been shut my entire life. Being in my position was rewarding in so many ways you couldn't count them with every limb, finger or toe on your body.

After I graduated high school I was given the opportunity to travel outside of California to live, work and snowboard every day in Utah. I'm planning to spend my winters in Utah working and focusing on becoming a professional snowboarder, and my summers back home in San Diego studying Graphic Design and Music, and working for Outdoor Outreach. I knew from the moment I began my work with Outdoor Outreach that my life was only going to move forward and I have Chris Rutgers to thank for that. Without him and his idea for this program I really don't know where I'd be, but I'm sure it wouldn't be the best place. Outdoor Outreach has given me, and those like me, the chance to grab hold of something out of our reach-a chance to be someone we had never imagined. Now I look back on my past and wonder if I wasn't in those underprivileged situations would I be where I am today? Without the strong fighting will of my mother, the giving heart of Chris and Outdoor Outreach, and the guidance of the Toussaint Academy I would not be who I am. I believe that how we survive is what makes us who we are.”

About Gramicci
Gramicci, considered the ‘soul brand' of the outdoor industry, is first associated with the iconic climbing styles of the G-climbing pant and short over 27 years ago. In recent years, the company has evolved into a nature-inspired, sustainably produced, lifestyle apparel brand. Over 60% of the Gramicci product is made of all organic or blends of organic and recycled materials. Advanced organic natural fiber technologies have been added to Gramicci's famous engineered “freedom of movement” comfort design, and signature “perfectly imperfect” worn and weathered fabric and garment finishes. For more information, visit: www.gramicci.com.

Contacts:
President: Marty Weening Gramicci 800.814.5000 Ext. 222 martyw@gramicci.com
Communications: Beth Cochran Gramicci 406.579.7909 cochran@whatsuppr.com

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