January 2017 | Preserve Our Paradise Campaign
Preserve our Paradise

Preserve Our Paradise Campaign Newsletter

In this issue:

Many Ways to Give to the Campaign
Interview with Callie McCallister
Stark Mountain Foundation News
Upcoming MRG events

Many Ways to Give to the Paradise Campaign!

There are many ways to give to the Preserve Our Paradise campaign, and this was never more apparent than during the recent giving season. The campaign received more than $240,000 in donations during November and December. Donations were made online, via checks, stock transfers, wire transfers, and matching grants. Many corporations will match your donation to the campaign, and a number of our donors were able to take advantage of such grants. If you'd like to find out whether your employer will match your gift, here's a list of corporations that offer such grants. 

Although the campaign is still in the "quiet phase," there's plenty of work going on behind the scenes! The Mad River Glen Cooperative recently demonstrated the ability to complete a campaign project under budget and in an aggressive timeframe with the completion of Phase One of our snowmaking system replacement. After safety concerns with the existing snowmaking electrical system came to light earlier this year, it was replaced a year ahead of schedule. Ground was broken in early October, work was finished by late November, and the system was fired up shortly afterwards to help Mad River Glen open on December 10, our earliest opening day in many years.

On Thanksgiving weekend, we held a campaign social for volunteers at the Amateur Ski Club lodge at Mad River. It was a great chance for the volunteers to take a break and socialize over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. In December, we held a successful campaign training session at Karen Lloyd and Tom Martin's house on Schuss Pass. We now have a total of 55 active and informed volunteers working on the campaign as we build a robust and effective campaign organization.

Learn more about the campaign on the Preserve Our Paradise campaign website!
Password: gogogo

Blowing snow at MRG

The new snowmaking electrical system in action, helping the mountain open early on December 10. 

Interview with Callie McCallister

Callie McCallister is the Director of Mad River Glen’s Cricket Club Day Care. The Cricket Club accepts kids from six weeks to six years old. It was built in 1964 during the Roland Palmedo years.

When did you working start at the Cricket Club?

Callie: I started working part time before my daughter was born, and this is now my 44th year of working.

That’s impressive! Can you describe a typical day for a kid at the Cricket Club?

Cricket ClubCallie: We have a format which we follow, story time, play time, lunch, naps, dress up, it’s a very positive playtime for kids. We have four big windows in front of the building that look over the mountain so we can see the chairlifts and Callie’s Corner. The kids can go easily out for a run with their parents and then come back to the club. As you can imagine, over the years things have changed. Originally the ski school didn’t offer lessons for kids until they were six, so for many years I taught lessons out of the Cricket Club for the four-to-five year old kids.

What’s the most rewarding thing about the job for you?

Callie: I think for me the most rewarding thing is seeing the parents come back so that their children can experience the same thing. At this point I would say probably 90% of the kids are second generation and that says a lot to me. For parents, familiarity is very important and it’s nice to come back to a place you know, and not have a “McMountain” type of experience where every year there are new faces. We take pictures and put up big poster boards, and later they come back and say, “Oh here’s where I was one, and here’s where I was two.”

What’s been the biggest challenge for the Cricket Club?

Callie: Probably midweek enrollment, which is a challenge for the mountain in general. We have a couple of programs that have helped out, we have "Mommy & Daddy Monday," which offers a discounted rate, and last year we introduced a season pass rate.

What is the kids' favorite activity?

Callie: Depends on the age, they love dress up, coloring, sliding, and I think for a lot of the kids coming in and being able to play with different toys, it’s a different environment, it’s a fun place for them. Every day we have the menu posted, and the kids' favorite is grilled cheese and “silly soup,” which is pasta in broth. When the kids sit down for lunch I have marionette puppets that come out and dance up and down the table, and try and eat their sandwiches and soup. When they come back next year, they ask for the puppets at lunchtime. To do something that’s different from their everyday normal life, they remember that!

What about Mad River Glen is special to you?

Callie: Oh, the great family atmosphere, also the employees — we’re a family and we watch out for each other. This is my life in the winter and I really enjoy it. I did get out and take a run yesterday for the first time in a long time! My daughter and my mother have worked here, my kids were both in the ski the race programs, and now my daughter and my son in law have two kids in the race program and he’s a coach, so it’s very family oriented here and I really appreciate that!

Tell me a bit about what you do in the offseason?

Callie: In the summer I work at the von Trapp Greenhouse. I like to say that in the winter I nurture children and in the summer I nurture plants. I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Callie McCallister

Stark Mountain Foundation News

SMFThe Preserve Our Paradise Campaign is built upon an ongoing partnership between the Stark Mountain Foundation (SMF) and the Mad River Glen Cooperative. SMF is an independent charitable 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 for the purpose of safeguarding and preserving the environment of General Stark Mountain and ensuring continued access to the mountain’s recreational and historic facilities for present and future generations. SMF has worked with the Cooperative to ensure that robust financial controls are in place and clear guidelines exist to ensure that campaign funds are properly used for projects in keeping with the nonprofit mission of SMF.

SMF is also partnering with the Vermont Community Foundation to manage the Paradise Endowment, which has already been funded with $245,000 in donations. The endowment's annual income will be used on an ongoing basis to support Mad River Glen needs that are consistent with SMF's mission.

SMF has been working to expand their board, and recently appointed three new members, Brandi Myers, Amory Hunnewell, and Debbie Lesure. It is our partnership with the Stark Mountain Foundation that enables us to ensure the tax deductibility of all donations, and provides a strong foundation for the campaign. Thanks to the board and volunteers of SMF for their strong support!

The Midstation in December

Upcoming MRG events

January 31
Roll Back the Clock Day/Vermont Specialty Food Day

February 10
Lawson's Finest Beer Lovers Dinner and Full Moon Snowshoe, 7 pm

February 11
Board of Trustees meeting, 5 pm

February 14
Valentine's Day Kissing Special

February 18
Triple Crown Unconventional Competition, 11 am

February 19
Montclair Ski Club Interclub Race

February 24
Ski with the Point

March 3
Triple Crown Vertical Challenge, 9 am

March 4
Junior Mogul Challenge, 11 am

March 11
Board of Trustees meeting, 5 pm

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 Tobin, Brooks Ware
Look for our next newsletter in March!

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