For immediate release 5/4/2017
Dear Whaleback Community,
As we welcome spring to the Upper Valley, we are proud to give you an update on our 4th season of running Whaleback, and ask for your participation in our 2017 Annual Fund Drive.
First, thank you, your generosity has allowed us to preserve a community icon. You have helped us fulfill our mission, which is serving our community, and helping countless children learn and improve their skiing and riding skills. Thank you, for both your monetary support, and for the thousands of volunteer hours you have provided to help us keep up with on-going trail maintenance, lodge improvements and capital enhancements. We are happy to let you know that your leadership is inspiring the next generation! Young ski and ride enthusiasts from Ford Sayre Memorial Ski Council with a match from Positive Tracks recently raised almost two thousand dollars for UVSSF and also for the non-profit Save our Winters. We want to use this gift to kick off our 2017 Annual Fund Drive to continue our overall goal of improving the Whale!
Second, allow me to share some highlights from 2016-2017:
- We offered our earliest opening ever in our 4 years of operation: December 17th, and operated for nearly 90 days, successfully completing all of our camps, clinics and programs.
- We doubled our beginner terrain by relocating the Magic Carpet and Mighty Might tow, exponentially increasing the number of beginners we were able to teach.
- We cleared trails and added snowmaking and lights in anticipation of the T-Bar installation. The T-Bar will allow for early season training & riding and provide a vital intermediate step before the chairlift.
- We provided a very successful Thursday Night Race League for our adult community, which was at capacity with 52 teams, and held a record February Vacation Camp with over 80 skiers and riders.
- We improved our operating margins and are closer to breaking even for our winter operations, a huge accomplishment with our challenging weather.
- We supported over 20 youth skiers and riders with Financial Aid ensuring that no child is deprived of an opportunity to learn to ski or board, even if his or her family’s financial situation is prohibitive.
And now, we need your continued help to raise the necessary funds for our important summer and fall projects. Thanks to you, our community, we are installing the T-bar this summer, and thanks to the Byrne Foundation, we have a great start on snowmaking improvements. However, to take full advantage of these improvements, we will require more water - which means a rebuilt pump house, an additional pump and new pipe in key areas. The more we raise, the more we can do to get it "done right." We also have trail work in mind, specifically drainage improvements and regrading problem areas. As always, the chairlift requires capital intensive yearly maintenance. The improvements we hope to make to our lodge are not as glamorous, but are just as critical to operations.
Our 2017 Annual Fund Drive goal is $200,000 to address all our summer/fall capital needs. Thanks to the kids, we now have $198k to go! Please visit https://whaleback.com/donation to make your donation by June 1st at one of our skier giving levels below, so that we can schedule all of these projects and reach completion before the snow flies again. Every improvement that we make allows us to operate more efficiently, increase facility utilization, and provide a better experience with the ultimate goal of becoming more sustainable.
John Schiffman - UVSSF Board Chair