The family of a Colorado man who was killed in an avalanche in 2019 has created a foundation to raise money for avalanche dogs.
Corey Borg-Massanari of Vail was only 22 years old when he became caught in an inbounds avalanche at the Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico on Jan. 21, 2019.
Another man, 26-year-old Matthew Zonghetti, was also caught in the slide. He had just moved to Denver and was on a trip with his father.
Both were buried and killed. Ski patrol had performed avalanche mitigation in the area just hours earlier.
On Tuesday, the Borg and Massanari families launched a foundation called the Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation, and it will raise money to increase outdoor safety at ski resorts in the United States, with a focus on avalanche dogs.
The foundation will fund one avalanche dog for Taos Ski Valley in 2021 and one for Vail in 2022, to start. Corey Borg-Massanari worked in Vail at Zip Adventures and the Patagonia store in Vail Village.
Bobbie Gorron, Corey Borg-Massanari’s mother and the advisor of the foundation, said he died doing something he loved.
“In his memory, we will raise funds to purchase equipment and training for outdoor safety and place avalanche dogs at ski resorts around the country,” she said. “These incredible animals, along with the ski patrol, work hard to keep skiers and riders safe. We credit the Taos avi dog Izzy with finding Corey after the avalanche.”
Leland Thompson, a Taos Ski Valley ski patroller, owns Izzy and is helping Corey Borg-Massanari's family with the avalanche dog application process.
“I’m honored to work with the Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation and keep the celebration of Corey’s life and spirit alive,” Thompson said. “We are humbled by the warm, cherished relationship that we have built with Corey’s brave family, albeit borne out of tragedy.”