Meghan McCarthy McPhaul's Winter Notes: Get on the slopes for some great causes

By. MEGHAN McCARTHY McPHAUL March 08. 2018 9:16PM
Courtesy KingPine Participants in Cynthia's Challenge 24-hour Ski-A-Thon take a break to watch fireworks and warm up by the fire. 

Love skiing? Enjoy helping others? Well, there are plenty of opportunities over the next couple of weeks to combine the two.

This Saturday, March 10, is the 2nd Annual Great Glen Trails Winter Charity Day. Last year’s inaugural event raised $2,500 for a variety of charities, from local causes like Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation and the Conway Area Humane Society to national organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association.

“It’s certainly great to see local charities get a substantial portion of the donations, but any cause that’s important to the participants is important to us,” said Great Glen Trails’ Crispin Battles.

Participants may make a donation of $25 or more ($15 for kids ages 5-12) to a charity of their choice and enjoy a day of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the extensive trails system, runs on the tubing hill, and a catered lunch. The first 32 people to donate $50 or more will earn a ride on the Mount Washington SnowCoach.

To pre-register for the Winter Charity Day or for more information, visit www.greatglentrails.com.



Decked out in classic ski garb, the Carroll Reed family took home first place in the vintage attire competition at last year's Hannes Schneider Meister Cup. (Courtesy New England Ski Museum)

Meister Cup

Cranmore Mountain Resort hosts the annual Hannes Schneider Meister Cup, a benefit for the New England Ski Museum, with events throughout the weekend. Friday night features the inaugural Schneider Sprint, comprising an obstacle course, uphill ski, and descent on Cranmore. Saturday features live music from the Bavarian Brothers as a backdrop to a dual slalom race, silent auction, and vintage ski attire contest.

Named in honor of Austrian skimeister Hannes Schneider, the father of modern ski instruction who arrived in North Conway and began a long tenure at Cranmore in 1939, the weekend-long event supports the New England Ski Museum, which recently opened an Eastern Slope Branch in downtown North Conway, in its efforts to preserve ski history. For more information, visit www.newenglandskimuseum.org.

AbilityPLUS Ski-A-Thon

At Attitash Saturday, skiers and riders are invited to participate in the AbilityPLUS Adaptive Sports Ski-A-Thon, featuring a silent auction and raffle. The event benefits AbilityPLUS, which strives to provide athletic and recreational opportunities for people with physical and cognitive disabilities in the Mount Washington Valley. To register for the Ski-A-Thon, or for more information visit www.abilityplus.org.

Upcoming events

For skiers able to hit the slopes mid-week, Pats Peak is offering discounted lift tickets the next two weeks with a portion of each ticket price going to a good cause. Next week, March 12-15, Pats tickets purchased online are $30, with a portion donated to the Pope Memorial SPCA of Concord-Merrimack County. The following week, March 19-22, part of each $25 lift ticket will support melanoma research. Visit www.patspeak.com to purchase tickets.

Looking ahead to next weekend, King Pine will hold the 5th annual Cynthia’s Challenge 24-hour Ski-A-Thon from 4 p.m. March 16 through 4 p.m. March 17. Named for the initial beneficiary of the event, Cynthia Verrill, the Ski-A-Thon was started to help ease the financial burden of families who have children with special medical needs.

Over the first four years, Cynthia’s Challenge has garnered more than $181,000 and helped fund a seizure-detecting dog for Verrill and wheelchair-accessible vans for three area families. This year, the goal is to raise $65,000 to purchase a van for the Villeneuve family, whose 9-year-old son Jacques has a disability that requires use of a wheelchair. Jacques skis through the Granite State Adaptive Sports program.

The 24-hour-event features meals for participants, live music, evening fireworks, a night race, a 2 a.m. make-your-own sundae bar, and a slew of other fun activities. For more information on Cynthia’s Challenge and to register for the Ski-A-Thon, visit www.kingpine.com.

After this week’s snowstorm, the skiing is already going to be sweet. Helping a good cause — or a few — will make it even sweeter.

Contact Meghan McCarthy McPhaul at meghan@meghanmcphaul.com.


SportsSkiingWinter FunWinter tourism

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