I was fortunate enough to grow up in small town in the Southeast corner of Vermont. Brattleboro is a close knit community and it's about as picture perfect as you might imagine.
At the heart of that community lies the Living Memorial Park. I lived there as a kid. Swimming in the summers and sledding and skating during the long Vermont winters. For those of us who couldn't afford the price of a lift ticket at any of the nearby ski resorts, it was special, but it belonged to all of us.
Unfortunately due to a number of factors, the town ceased operating the hill in 1995. A private group of citizens, who couldn't bear to see this treasure sit idle and fall apart, banded togeteher and re-opened the hill in 1997, knowing there was no money from the town.
The ski tow at Living Memorial Park is run by an all volunteer, non-profit organization (vtsnowsports.org), that found out just as this season was about to begin that its snow groomer had died.
No groomer, no hill, That's it.
So as the start of the season drew near, a usable machine was secured. Their story of running an all-volunteer ski tow, with $5 daily lift tickets, so impressed the folks at Bristol Mountain in NY that they gave the Vermont organization a deal on a used groomer. And even picked up the transportation costs. Living Memorial Snow Sports had no other option but to take out a 10-year loan for about $30,000.
An article that ran in the local paper, The Brattleboro Reformer, can be found here:
So this fundraiser is for a groomer. But it's more than that. It's about a ski hill. It's about a tradition. But most importantly it's about the very things that make the rapidly vanishing small towns like Brattleboro so special, their community and the things they hold dear.
- Fran Young
- rob rea
- Prudence MacKinney
- Richard Sarle
- Joe LeBlanc
Organizer and beneficiary
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