Skiing for good causes


For lovers of snow sports, what better way to raise money for your favorite charity than skiing and riding?

Today, starting at 4 p.m., King Pine in East Madison will host a 24-Hour Ski-A-Thon called "Cynthia's Challenge" to help raise $35,000 to buy a service dog for Cynthia Verrill.

The sixth-grader was born with tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes and skin. It also affects the nervous system.

A service dog can detect seizures before the onset, which will help Cynthia - who loves to ski - live a more independent life. For more information, visit

Ideal weather on March 10 made it a pleasure for all 38 participants in Wildcat Mountain's 100,000 Vertical Foot Challenge to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire. Wildcat's 2,100 vertical foot drop and high-speed lift helped participants complete the required 48 runs down Upper Catapult and Middle to Lower Lynx Trails.

In total, a record $158,000 was raised for Make-A-Wish at the Pinkham Notch ski area.

For the fifth year in a row, Kevin Elwood of Boxford, Mass., was the top fundraiser; he collected more than $91,000 in donations. William Stewart of Topsfield, Mass., came in second with $25,000-plus. Ryan Hill of Boxford, Mass., rounded out the top three with $10,000.

Now in its 11th year, the event has surpassed $595,000 total funds raised.

Pats (Pets) Peak

Over the past 14 years, Pats Peak in Henniker has helped to raise more than $250,000 for the Childhood Cancer Lifeline of New Hampshire. This year the ski area added another $28,000 to help children battle cancer and provide support to families. On Feb. 23-24, Pats Peak held a dinner, auction, entertainment and had on-line ticket specials and donation boxes.

Last week, Pats Peak became Pets Peak. The resort donated $6,390, bringing their six-year total to $26,000 in donations to two worthy pet organizations - the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA and Canine Guardians for Life. Skiers and riders were able to pre-order tickets for only $30, with $15 going toward the charity. A donation of three pet items earned a $10 Pats Peak Café Card.

Okemo Mountain

The Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge is a series of fun and free ski or snowboard races for anyone who wants to participate, with age brackets from under 6 to 80-plus. This winter on the East Coast there were 26 races, with nine in New Hampshire. The finals are to be held on March 28 at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vt. The race is a hit, with lots of prizes, give-a-ways and medals for the top four winners and a chance to compete at the finals. These fun races benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Slopeside runs every Friday during the ski season. Kathleen Humphreys can be reached at

ColumnWeatherNew HampshireSlopeside with Kathleen Baglio Humphreys

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