Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why I Make Time For Skiing With My Kids

The winter after my daughter was born, memories of pre-baby days on the slopes still fresh in my mind, I actually bought a season pass, thinking I could zip off to the ski area with ease. Not a chance. Little did I know that I’d spend my days driving the nap mobile and nights in a nursing rocker, delirious with sleep deprivation. I emerged from the baby cave to go skiing only a handful of times that first winter, and I recall getting a phone call from the mountain nursery about 30 minutes into my first taste of temporary freedom to retrieve my screaming bundle of joy.

Despite feeling that babyhood would last forever, I now know that days turn into years without notice. Entrenched in the routine of parenthood, work and school deadlines loom. We need to make it to soccer practice, finish that math assignment, and get to bed on time. It would be easy to let the daily tasks of taking care of a family consume calendar page after calendar page, but the memories of floating through shin-deep powder or hearing my skis zip over perfectly groomed lines of white corduroy lingered in my consciousness. They made me realize I want my kids to know the thrill and camaraderie of sharing a day on the slopes, the anticipation of new fallen snow that blankets the world white, the exhilaration of perfect turns on skis.

Sharing that anticipation with the kids has ensured that they want to make the ski day happen just as much as we do. After giving our son a trail map and a highlighter to mark the trails he’s been on, he made it his personal mission to make it down every run on the mountain before the end of the year.

Opportunities for trips to Trader Joe’s and scrubbing crayon off the bathroom walls will still present themselves, but as the kids fly through their grade school years, the chances to giggle on the chairlift about our last escapade through the Stickney Glades won’t always be there. In making family time at the mountain a priority, sometimes we have to decline an invitation to a sugar-filled birthday party at the local playplace. That's OK because the pride in my son’s voice after conquering the bumps on Agassiz is a much sweeter reward. The pile of clean laundry can also wait. The glow on my daughter’s face after a race down Deception Bowl leaves us with meaningful memories that trump neatly folded clothes any day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

West Mountain Tower Goes Pink

If you've had the pleasure of riding the West Mountain Express at Bretton Woods recently, you might have noticed something a bit different on your ride up the mountain. In a world of white snow accented by gray lift towers and evergreens, a pink lift tower now stands boldly near the top of West Mountain.
Tower 11 has been painted pink to raise awareness for breast cancer and honor survivors, as well as those who have lost their lives and those still battling the disease. 

The resort held a Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend January 16-17 and raised $1600 for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, NH. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at noon in the base lodge Saturday in front of a full lunch-time crowd.

The money raised went to the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, dedicated to supporting the services provided by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, a world-renowned cancer treatment and research facility affiliated with The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Started in 1982, the friends of Norris Cotton have contributed more that $27 million to cancer research.

"Breast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women in the United States annually. October may have already passed, but it is never the wrong time to raise awareness for a disease afflicting so many," said events and activities coordinator Veronica Fernandez in her introduction.

Jim Bonney, Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center chairperson and cancer survivor cut the ceremonial ribbon and spoke to everyone about why this is such an important effort to take part in. "We can't spread awareness enough. It is wildly expensive to research and develop. What anyone can do to donate helps fund their cutting edge research and patient services."

The donated funds go to funding world class research, state of the art equipment, critical education programs, and clinical trials which help cancer patients all over the world.

"I'm also here as a cancer survivor, diagnosed 46 years ago. I'm at least one person who is a very greatful recipient of the services at Norris Cotton Cancer Center," Bonney told the audience.

Jim explained that NCCC is one of 45 designated cancer centers in the county and the only one in New Hampshire, making it an important resource for everyone in the state.

He added that research there is "cutting edge- truly cutting edge," with scientists exploring immunotherapy as well as drugs designed to go after the genetic structure of cancerous cells and nanotechnology, using magnetic nanoparticles to destroy malignant tumors.

"This is a pernicious and prevalent disease. One in eight women are affected by breast cancer. I'd like to urge you to do something. It can be a very lonely battle. It means a lot to support that person, even if it is just a casserole." Bonner also urged everyone to make a donation that will support research and patient services, such as wigs for breast cancer survivors.

Bretton Woods will be continuing fundraising efforts for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center over Valentine’s Day weekend. Guests can contribute by purchasing pink ribbons for $1.00 or they can donate any amount at our various outlets.