from Ski Vermont Press Releases by Jen Butson
Okemo Mountain Resort promotes a culture of support for local community and charitable giving. Resort operators Tim and Diane Mueller lead by example.
Education is a recurring theme in the Muellers’ philanthropic efforts. Diane founded the Okemo Community Challenge, an organization that has raised more than $1 million to benefit local charitable and educational endeavors in the fields of technology, fine arts, performing arts and curriculum integration in the local school systems. Schools in Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Mount Holly, Plymouth and Springfield have been recipients for the Community Challenge because they are central to members of Okemo’s workforce and the local community. Through the fundraising efforts of the Community Challenge Grant, students, parents and area residents are able to come together and gain a greater understanding of the importance of education and commitment to community spirit.
Okemo recently awarded nearly $10,000 in scholarships to resort staff and their dependents as part of the Okemo Academic Reward Program. Okemo also awards season passes to local students in grades 7-12 who achieve and maintain Honor Roll status.
Okemo sponsors several young athletes each year and welcomes students attending Okemo Mountain School to access the slopes for training on a daily basis throughout the winter season.
Okemo is host to annual events that benefit area food pantries and assistance organizations. Twice a year, Okemo operates a food drive and rewards skiers and riders with discounted lift tickets for donating non-perishable food items. The resort also donates 100 frozen turkeys to the Black River Good Neighbors Christmas Basket Program each holiday season. Resort staff members celebrate Valentine’s Day by donating to the Resort’s Have a Heart Program, with Okemo-matched funds benefiting the United Way.
Most recently, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, Okemo hosted a benefit concert to assist residents of the Okemo Valley who were affected by the storm. The event raised $10,000 for Black River Good Neighbors Services. Okemo was a sponsor of the widely publicized Phish concert that raised funds for flood victim relief in Vermont. In addition, Okemo work crews rolled up their sleeves and got to work rebuilding washed-out roads and assisting neighbors with flood clean-up.
Okemo receives numerous requests for fundraising assistance each year and fulfilled more than 1,000 charitable requests for lift tickets during the 2010/2011 season.
For more information about Okemo, please call (802) 228-1600, or visit www.okemo.com.