March 2016 | Preserve Our Paradise Campaign
Preserve our Paradise


Preserve Our Paradise Campaign Newsletter

In this issue:

The Community Preservation Initiative
Thoughts on a Winter to Forget
Campaign Update
The Role of the Stark Mountain Foundation 
Upcoming MRG Events

The Community Preservation Initiative

Revitalizing our Communal Gathering Space

As we have mentioned in previous issues, the Mad River Glen Board of Trustees and management have identified four key areas of need to be addressed by the campaign: Mountain Preservation; Skier Safety & Services; Youth & Family Development; and Community Preservation. This issue, we'll focus on the final initiative.

The Base Box is the focal point of Mad River, and even though our skiers love the rustic and unpretentious structure, the building is showing its age and needs some simple and cost-effective upgrades. The Community Preservation initiative will expand the overcrowded bathrooms, which date to the original 1949 structure and are inadequate for today’s needs. Plans also include a much-needed family restroom and additional space for enhanced skier services, gear storage, and changing areas. The Base Box’s outdated systems will be updated to conform to today’s code requirements. The inadequate kid's program area will be expanded to address the current overcrowding. The initiative will reduce energy consumption with improved heating and electrical systems, energy-efficient renovations, and a more efficient kitchen. 

Together, these renovations will ensure that the Base Box will remain viable for many years to come while retaining its classic atmosphere. We welcome your comments and thoughts about the campaign at  

Community Preservation: The Base Box

Thoughts on a Winter to Forget

As this issue is being written, the Mad River Glen Cooperative is nearing the unceremonious end of what is certainly the worst winter since the Cooperative was founded twenty years ago, and among the worst since the mountain opened in 1948. There's no better reminder of the randomness of Mother Nature than to go from the deep snow of a year ago to the scarcity of today. Although it's been many years since we've experienced a comparable winter, this winter is not without precedent. Mad River Glen experienced the contradictions of New England weather right from the start. Construction of the Single Chair was delayed in the fall of 1947 due to too much snow in November, and then a year later, there was almost no snow during the inaugural season until late February. The winter of 1979-80 was also disastrous, with the main mountain rumored to have been open only 17 days. 

What lessons can be drawn from this season for those of us who are involved in planning a major fundraising campaign? Are we concerned that the lack of snow will hinder the success of the campaign? It's been the experience of mountain management that preseason ticket sales generally drop very little after a bad winter. The spirit of Mad River skiers is demonstrated by the young Devo kids who skied no less than 60 practice slope runs on a cold February day. Mad River Glen skiers are unfailingly loyal, and we believe that this year's bad season will not be a deterrent to the campaign, but rather, strongly reinforce the need for a capital campaign to help the mountain survive through thick and thin. Great skiing will undoubtedly return to Stark Mountain once again, and we remain fully confident that the Mad River Glen community will strongly support the upcoming campaign to Preserve Our Paradise. 
These Devos showed true Mad River spirit by ripping 60 runs on the practice slope.

Campaign Update

Despite the uncooperative weather, planning for the campaign continues and results to date have been extremely promising. As many of you are aware, the campaign is currently in the "quiet phase," with efforts focused on developing the volunteer network and infrastructure necessary to support a major fundraising effort, as well as directing solicitation efforts at the leadership of Mad River Glen and the Stark Mountain Foundation. So far, donors are making pledges 13 times larger than for the Single campaign, and pledges have now exceeded the total that was reached during the very successful Single Chair campaign. With this promise of the early success of the campaign, we are eagerly anticipating a public launch of the campaign later this year. 

The main focus of the campaign will be to challenge all of us to support Mad River Glen with a thoughtful, multi-year pledge. However, for those that would like to make an early contribution to the campaign, the campaign is now accepting donations at!

Double Hut

The Role of the Stark Mountain Foundation

SMFThe Stark Mountain Foundation (SMF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was founded in 2001 to preserve and protect the unique and historic environment of Stark Mountain and to support programs and projects that will sustain this experience for present and future generations. Since that time, SMF has worked towards fulfilling its mission by participating in the historic rehabilitation of Mad River Glen’s single chair, endowing perpetual maintenance of the Long Trail on Stark Mountain and currently by serving as fiscal sponsor and nonprofit partner for the Preserve Our Paradise Campaign.
SMF is able to electively fund any project or program, including elements of the Preserve Our Paradise campaign, which seeks to preserve the outdoor recreation and unique historic qualities of Stark Mountain, including its winter skiing experience. The campaign’s initiatives, including Mountain Preservation, Skier Safety & Services, Youth & Family Development, and Community Preservation, are considered to be consistent with SMF’s mission as they are all designed to foster and encourage recreational use of the mountain and to preserve this unique and historic environment.
Over the years, people have asked whether there are limitations on what SMF can fund. The short answer is yes. We may only fund programs and projects that are within the scope of our charitable mission, which is “to preserve and protect the environment and ecosystem of General Stark Mountain, including its recreational access and historic value, and to support programs that promote and sustain that environment for the enjoyment of present and future generations.” 
How might this impact the Preserve Our Paradise campaign? As an example, SMF would not be able to fund costs associated with enhancing the Food and Beverage area in terms of making it more aesthetically appealing, spacious or comfortable as this is not consistent with our mission. On the other hand, the Rental and Repair Shop is an integral part of our mission of promoting outdoor recreation, and current plans include a modest expansion into space that would be vacated by the current ski locker room. The bottom line is that any request for grant funding will be thoroughly vetted by SMF to ensure that all grants are consistent with our charitable mission. If you have any questions, please contact Ken Frey, Penny Parson or Greg Scott at

Kids Easter Parade
Mad River's new groomer on a rare day of new snow this past season.

Upcoming MRG Events

March 12
Interclub Ski Race
Co-op Board of Trustees Meeting, 5 pm

March 27
Easter Festivities at MRG: Services at 8 am, Easter Egg hunt at 11 am, Costume Parade at 1:30 (weather permitting)

April 2
Co-op Shareholders Annual Meeting, 5 pm

May 14
Co-op Board of Trustees Meeting, 8 am

More info at Mad River Glen's Event Calendar
Campaign Cabinet

Chair: Annika Holtan    Members at Large: Lars Bruns, Bob Dillon, Jim Elkind, Meg Hourihan, Betsy Jondro, Karen Lloyd, John Nesbett, Pamela Nesbett, Eric Palola, Penny Parson, Greg Scott, Debra Steines, John Stetson, John Tobin, Brooks Ware, Jamey Wimble
Look for our next newsletter in May!

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