The official start of winter is December 21 but CHaD and nearly a thousand snow lovers kicked off the winter sports season at a sold-out Warren Miller Ski Film screening Sunday, Nov. 12 at The Palace Theatre in Manchester. The annual fundraiser for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock celebrated the coming snow with a silent auction, raffles, and a world-wide trip to some of the most exotic skiing and snowboarding locales around the world.
This year’s film screening marked the 21st time CHaD has hosted the event in conjunction with The Palace. The day began with ticket holders entering the theater to pick up their coveted goodie bags, a popular staple each year. The goodie bags were jammed full of a variety of items, including ski passes to some of the best mountains in the area – Waterville Valley, Pats Peak, Burke Mountain, McIntyre, Gunstock, Sugar Bush, and the four hills of Peak Resorts (Attitash, Crotched Mountain, Wildcat, and Mount Snow). Additional passes from Jackson Hole, Wy., and Steamboat in Colorado awaited those looking for a winter adventure to the west.
During a raucous pre-show, emcee and committee leader Mike Martin honored sponsors and special guests, and local presenting sponsor Ken Jones Ski Mart gave one lucky winner a $250 gift card to get their ski season started. Two time cancer survivor and CHaD patient Avery Forrestall was his usual inspiring self, backed up this year by highlights from his first matches in professional wrestling. Another long-time Warren Miller speaker, former CHaD patient Cam Marshall, wasn’t able to attend but he sent in a video message from the site of his new winter job at the aforementioned Jackson Hole.
Before the film and during intermission, attendees bid on a spectacular array of silent auction items, including K2 skis, a Rossi snowboard, Fischer skis and bindings from Ken Jones, plus season ski passes to Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley. A 50/50 raffle saw nearly $3,000 divided up between CHaD and the winner – until the winner decided to give his half back to CHaD!
In addition to the raffles and auction, several sponsors stepped up to drive the event to unprecedented fundraising levels. Ken Jones Ski Mart was the local presenting sponsor with AutoFair VW providing local support for the national sponsor, Volkswagen. Additional thanks are due to the generous ski mountains and resorts, more than 50 silent auction donors including apparel companies, restaurants, sports and event tickets, and much more.
Special thanks are also due for the organizing committee, led by Martin, who has been involved in the event for all 21 years, as well as the numerous volunteers that made this spectacular event a great success! Mark your calendar for next year’s ski-tastic film, on November 11, 2018.