Every year children anticipate Santa’s appearance. His stand-ins arrive at local shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving, but the real Saint Nick is not seen when he delivers goodies on Christmas Eve. Imagine seeing almost two hundred people dressed like Kris Kringle tackling the slopes on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Newry, Maine.
Santas Tackled Tough Slopes
Santa’s wannabes tackled terrain requiring greater skiing skills than those on the bunny slopes. Then again, those trails are likely to see the Easter Bunny in early spring.
One participant explained the goal was to avoid smash-ups when the pack of Santas begins their descent down the slope. Reports indicated there were some tumbles, but no Saint Nicks were hurt.
Yelena Walsh, a former professional Russian skier, residing in Boston, explained:
This is the right way to start the holiday season. It’s so much fun. This whole activity, it moves you back to your childhood.
A spokesperson for the fundraising event, Darcy Lambert, said the Santa’s appeared to conquer the slopes with skills comparable to last year’s participants. She estimated the number of tumbles, taken by the skiers, were likely about the same as last year.
Tis The Season Santas Give
Tis the season for giving and that is what these participants did. While they were providing donations, it looked like everyone enjoyed the excitement, had a great time, and played in the snow, exclaimed Lambert.
The 18th Annual Santa Sunday fundraiser for the Sunday River Community Fund raised almost $3,000. The minimum donation was $15. This included free skiing in the event and a gifted life ticket to use by Dec. 16.
According to resort officials, within minutes of the event registration beginning all of the available slots filled. They also stated that the Santa Skiing fundraiser is immensely popular.
Walsh told reporters this was the fourth year she traveled to Maine for the event. After descending the slope, she remained in her Santa costume and gave the children candy canes.
Sunday River Community Fund
The objective of Santa Sunday is to raise funds for the Maine’s Sunday River area: Albany, Andover, Bethel, Dixifield, Gilead, Greenwood, Hanover, Mexico, Rumford, and Woodstock. Santa Sunday is one event held by the foundation.
With a dedication to improving the quality of life, the Sunday River Community Fund supports charitable groups whose purpose is the same. When choosing to fund an organization, the fund prefers to grant money in projects with long-range plans and measurable impact on the communities it serves.
Beneficiaries of the funding grants in 2015 include:
- Androscoggin River Watershed
- Bethel Library Association
- Town of Bethel Recreation Department
- Mahoosuc Pathways
- Bryant Pond Learning Center
- Lifeflight Foundation
Ski Resort Where Skiing Santas Were Spotted
Sunday River Ski Resort is located east of the Vermont border, north of Portland and southwest of Bangor, Maine. It is one of most visited and largest resorts in the state. The mountain is sixth largest is New England and has a vertical drop of 2,340 feet, which features 135 runs and 15 lifts.
Santa Sunday kicks off the December events in the 2016-17 skiing season. Winterfest takes place from the 16th-18th with evening activities, night skiing and tubing, and fun at the Barker and Foggy Goggle bars. Children have the opportunity to chat with Santa on Saturday afternoon. Then during the week of Christmas beginning on Dec. 25 and running through New Year’s Eve, events such as live bands, entertainment, and fireworks abound.
By Cathy Milne
AP: Skiing Santas tackle the slopes in annual Maine charity
OnTheSnow: SUNDAY RIVER SKIING
Sunday River Ski Resort: Sunday River Community Fund
Featured Image Courtesy of Andy Eick’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Kevin Feeley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Ams100272 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain License