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Ladner’s ‘golden boy’ bonds with daughter through contest win
Ladner resident Paul Soukoreff has been spending winters skiing at Grouse Mountain with his 19-year-old daughter Richelle for the past decade.
So, when the opportunity came up in February for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a “golden ticket” through a Y2Play contest arose, Paul jumped on the opportunity.
The $10,000 grand prize consists of dozens of adventurous activities, including going snowshoeing, being a wildlife ranger for a day and meeting grizzly bears, and avalanche training.
He had to write 100 words or less about why he deserved to win, so Paul submitted a photo of himself with his 19-year-old daughter and explained the good times he’d had there with her.
“It sort of keeps families together,” says Paul about Grouse. “It’s a real family mountain and a really good atmosphere.”
After a voting period online, there were five finalists and Grouse Mountain sent a production company to make a movie to tell each person’s story and then posted the videos on the Grouse Facebook page.
The runners-up included a hard-working mom, a break-seeking UBC student, and man who met his wife during a Grouse Mountain ski school lesson, and even a cancer survivor.
But Paul, who turns 50 on Jan. 3, is about to come into another golden ticket of sorts. The graphic designer created his own video to promote himself in the contest, talking about winning the golden ticket in his golden year and going as far as wearing a golden jacket in public.
“I looked like a wrapped hamburger you know, or a foiled potato,” he says laughing.
But the jacket worked because it got people asking him about it and he made many more friends along the way.
It wasn’t long before even total strangers were rooting for the “golden boy” to win the golden ticket.
Sure enough, Paul was announced the winner at the end of March and by the summer he began the adventures with his family.
He went ziplining, paragliding and even “surfed” on the top of the Grouse Mountain Skyride gondola, despite his fear of heights.
Soukoreff used a go pro video camera to record their tandem-paragliding tour off Grouse Mountain.
“I think that was the funnest thing,” said Richelle. “I think if anyone was to do one thing it would be that. It just feels surreal because there’s nothing around me.”
Richelle says she enjoyed paragliding tour despite her embarrassment when her tandem operator spun around so fast that she became sick and vomited.
They also took a helicopter tour over the famous Lions peaks overlooking Vancouver and then downtown past False Creek and overtop BC Place Stadium.
“They kept the window open on the helicopter so we could stick our heads out,” said Paul. “Just a little, not too much.”
Another highlight was going to a tasting menu dinner with his wife at the Observatory Restaurant on Grouse with wine pairings for each dish.
One of the biggest perks is the season ski pass with “front of line privileges” for the ski lift so there’s no waiting around for Paul and Richelle to get their snowboarding fix. And now that ski season is well underway, the Soukoreffs are taking every advantage.
But it’s the quality father and daughter time that really matters.
“We spend every Saturday together from November to May,” says Richelle, laughing at the thought.
“I think it’s a myth that you can’t spend time with your kids as they grow older, or your kids don’t want to be with you if you make an effort as a parent to do fun stuff with them.”