Tom Hall, Green Mountain Adaptive Sports board member and Stowe Mountain Resort ski instructor, knows well the equipment needs for the Adaptive Program at Stowe Mountain Resort. Some of the equipment is quite dated, and there is a need for a pair of snow sliders, pieces that the program doesn’t have.
So, he set out to rectify the situation by conducting his own personal fundraiser – a vertical ski challenge – inviting people to pledge based on his success, or make a straight donation.
Hall’s original goal was to ski 27 laps off Stowe’s FourRunner Quad, which would total around 55,000 vertical feet (Hall celebrated his 55th birthday this year) and raise $10,000 for new adaptive equipment.
Tom began his challenge bright and early, catching the first chair on the FourRunner at 8 am, and taking his first of many runs down Liftline, one of Stowe’s formidable double black diamond trails. By 1:45 pm, at a rate of just over 5 runs per hour, Tom had reached his goal of skiing 55,000 feet of elevation in one day.
When asked by GMAS president Cynthia Needham, who had been riding every other chair lift with him in the morning, if he was going to stop skiing, Hall quickly replied, “Not as long as the lifts are running!” She gave him an energy bar and off he dashed.
Catching the last chair just short of 4 pm, he had blown well past both goals, knocking out an impressive 39 runs and 79,298 vertical feet.
Tom used the Epic Mix App and the Ski Track App to record his runs and measure his vertical feet. The lift attendants at the FourRunner Quad also got in on the challenge, writing notes of encouragement as they tabulated his runs on the whiteboard at the bottom of the lift.
Hall took advantage of the company of other skiers on his many chairlift rides to introduce himself, explain what he was doing, and invite them to follow his progress on the whiteboard. He also invited people to support his cause by making an online donation. Not surprisingly, many did.
A total of 76 donors (and counting,) many of whose companies matched their personal donations contributed to the fundraiser, which has raised just over $16,500. That is enough to purchase a Monique mono-ski, and two Snowsliders (one fully sponsored by the High Fives Foundation.) Donations are still accepted.
Board members, volunteers, and families of Green Mountain Adaptive Sports wish to extend their sincere appreciation and gratitude to Tom for his incredible journey and generous contribution to the program.
GMAS is contemplating organizing a similar event next winter, and inviting anyone interested in clocking runs at Stowe to raise funds for the GMAS programs, although we doubt that anyone can beat Tom’s record. We will keep you posted.
Photo credit for Tom Hall’s picture: Jeff Cunningham, Stowe