Vermont Volunteerism and Green Mountain Giving
Jen Butson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The word “giving” means a lot in Vermont; it's a way of life. Individual citizens, communities, businesses and families work to help one another in creative, often inspiring ways. At Vermont ski resorts, we give ourselves to our passions; be they the pursuit of a sport or prosperity for others - and often, there's a beautiful combination of the two via on-mountain fundraising or donation of event proceeds.
Vermont resorts reported giving nearly 10,800 complimentary tickets/passes and another 3,700 deeply discounted tickets to school children annually. These numbers do not include all the state's honor roll-eligible kids, to whom many resorts offer season passes.
Resorts also recognize and appreciate Vermont's volunteers and local rescue organizations with complimentary lift tickets and passes; Vermont resorts reported donating 9,000 lift tickets/passes cumulatively. Military and their families are also eligible for special programs, some complimentary and others discounted at many Vermont resorts.
Ski Vermont and its alpine and Nordic partners support the Ski Vermont Fifth Grade Passport, a program that entitles all fifth grade children a season of skiing and riding. In its 11th season and this year, Ski Vermont will donate all proceeds from the Fifth Grade Passport’s $10 processing fee to Keep Local Farms.
Keep Local Farms is an education and contribution program that connects consumers with local dairy farmers and encourages the purchase of healthy, local foods which sustain the working landscape for future generations. To find out more on Vermont’s Fifth Grade Passport program and to receive an application, visit skivermont.com.
Here are more stories we'd like to pay forward:
Bolton Valley Resort
BoltonValley works with several local and national non-profit organizations to get people out on the slopes and loving winter. Bolton Valley is the resort where the Burton Chill program was founded. Chill helps at risk youth build strong core values while learning to snowboard. The resort is also a site for Vermont Adaptive which helps people with disabilities learn to ski and ride.
Bromley Mountain Resort
Giving is an integral component of Bromley’s corporate DNA, ranging from the mountain’s year-round support of the Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Bromley’s annual skiing/riding breast cancer fundraiser, Mom’s Day Off, has netted just shy of $35,000 to date and they donate one free Sun Mountain Adventure Pass, a $39 value, to each child who completes the Fun Run at the yearly Komen Vermont-New Hampshire Race for the Cure.
It is a longtime practice to award academic achievement with free skiing and riding at Bromley; each Honor Roll student at the Long Trail School in Dorset and from Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester is rewarded with a Season Pass good for the following season. In addition, Bromley regularly and cheerfully fulfills donation requests for lift tickets, season passes, lift and lodging packages and so forth to area non-profits and charities to the tune of more than $30,000 a year.
The Burke Mountain Sled Dog Dash, now in its 5th year, has raised over $50,000 to support children in the Northeast Kingdom. Every year, dog sled teams from all over North America travel to East Burke, in hopes of taking home a piece of the $10,000 purse. All proceeds from the races benefit the Wafer Family Foundation, which is dedicated to helping children and families. 75% of the proceeds are earmarked for Burke Area Community Center, with hopes of starting construction within the next five years.
Mad River Glen
Ski It If You Can Helps in Afghanistan: For more than 25 years, the name Mad River Glen has been synonymous with its ubiquitous, red and white “Ski It If You Can” bumper sticker. The simple yet bold challenge has become the mountain’s calling card and is worn as a badge of honor by its incredibly loyal skiers. Beginning this year skiers from around the world will be able to wear that badge in other languages. Proceeds from the sale of these stickers will be donated to Direct Aid International, a small, non-profit operated by a former Mad River Glen employee.
Direct Aid International’s accomplishments include providing clean water to nearly 2,000 villagers, building 14 schools and a one-room library. “The Mad River Glen community is very proud of Direct Aid founder and local resident, Jonathan Hoffman,” said Mad River Glen spokesman Eric Friedman. “We want to help him spread the word and raise money for his efforts.” Learn more at www.directaidinternational.org.
Middlebury College Snow Bowl
Located in Hancock, the Snow Bowl will, as it has for several years, give gently used rental equipment to Hancock children who participate in school programs at the Bowl.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo MountainResort promotes a culture of support for local community and charitable giving. Resort operators Tim and Diane Mueller lead by example.
Education is a recurring theme in the Muellers’ philanthropic efforts. Diane founded the Okemo Community Challenge, an organization that has raised more than $1 million to benefit local charitable and educational endeavors.
This year, Okemo awarded nearly $10,000 in scholarships to resort staff and their dependents as part of the Okemo Academic Reward Program. Okemo also awards season passes to local students in grades 7-12 who achieve and maintain Honor Roll status.
Okemo sponsors several young athletes each year and is host to a number of events that benefit area food pantries and assistance organizations. Resort staff members celebrate Valentine’s Day by donating to the Resort’s Have a Heart Program, with Okemo-matched funds benefiting the United Way.
Okemo receives numerous requests for fundraising assistance each year and fulfilled more than a thousand charitable requests for lift tickets during the 2009/2010 season.
Visit Okemo’s online press kit.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
For over twenty years, Smugglers’ Notch Resort has hosted families sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. These visits are enthusiastically supported by Resort employees, who have donated holiday tree ornaments, delicious treats, cards and Vermont mementos to the families to enhance their stays. Visiting children have built snowmen, taken rides on snowmobiles behind ski patrollers, laughed through snowboarding lessons, and grinned during sleigh rides, and left with fond memories of their family’s special Vermont holiday.
Smugglers’ provides support to a variety of community and statewide efforts, including the local food shelves, the United Way, the Cambridge Arts Council, and the Green Mountain Club.
Smugglers’ provides support to a variety of community efforts, including donations to the local food shelf, the United Way, the Green Mountain Club, and the Cambridge Arts Council and donations and hosting blood drives to support the Red Cross. In keeping with its mission of environmental stewardship, the Resort donated the site for the development of the nonprofit Gateway to Nature program, an educational effort uniting the Resort and local community in support of environmental stewardship and education.
Stowe Mountain Resort
The FCS Race for Kids in Stowe:A very special annual event takes place every January (Jan. 6-9, 2011) at Stowe Mountain Resort. Members of the business and media communities will come together to ski-race and raise money for three charities that offer hope and comfort to children in desperate need.
The Financial Communications Society (FCS) is the presenting sponsor. Participating teams enjoy receptions and race camps prior to the competition. The main event takes place January 9 with a Dual Slalom race. Since 2000, this event has raised over one million dollars for The Hope and Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund, Downy Side, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
About the Charities:The Hope and Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund raises money to enhance pediatric cancer research and helps patients and their families in special need of assistance Downey Side is a non-sectarian non-profit agency based national charity dedicated to the belief that every child deserves the right to a permanent family, placing older children that would otherwise remain homeless into loving homes. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. For more information please visit www.fcsraceforkids.org/.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Recognizing a need in the local community, as well as potential for positive impact, The Stratton Foundation has realigned its focus to support Vermont children facing the challenges of obesity, substance abuse, poverty and depression.
The Stratton Foundation has supported a broad range of community organizations over the last 15 years, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants thanks to the work of hundreds of volunteers and sponsors. Under the new structure, the foundation will work with community organizations to expand opportunities for Vermont’s children to become socially integrated, healthier, smarter and more successful.
These objectives include:
- Identifying Vermont children who are at need and opening new doors;
- Improving the overall health and wellness of children in the local community;
- Reducing “at risk” behaviors;
- Increasing the percentage of Vermont kids attending college;
- Expanding awareness for the arts and music;
- Increasing participation in youth sports; and
- Helping every kid enjoy the Green Mountains that they call home.
With the realization that children are the future and the primary influencers of change, the Stratton Mountain Foundation aims to be Vermont’s leading non-profit dedicated to helping Vermont’s youth discover all of life’s possibilities.
The Foundation will also work closely with Stratton Mountain Resort, which as administrators of two broad local programs (the Junior Instructional Ski Program and Refuse to Use) provided opportunities for more than 1,000 children and teens to experience the mountain.
Sugarbush hosts the Valley School Days for local schools annually. The Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston schools each visit the mountain one day a week during the season so the whole school can ski together. Sugarbush donates nearly 2000 tickets a season to allow this program to happen.
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