The other day I was in the car and all of the other stations were playing crap music, so I tuned into VPR and guess what? It’s fundraising season! At first I was a little annoyed as I was hoping to catch up on current events, not looking for a sales pitch. However, I got over that when I realized that they were just doing what they needed to do to keep us happy. VPR is the default station in our car because they produce great programming and that all good things have a cost.
Anyway, this got me thinking about our organization. Currently, our Annual Fundraising Campaign is active and we are trying to raise $50,000 to help us cover some of our general operating expenses. This includes things such as office expenses, web hosting, and member support services and materials. In the office you can tell that none here is 100% comfortable making this ask. We realize it’s necessary, but sometimes it kind of feels like asking for a handout.
That day in the car listening to VPR got me thinking… Why should we feel this way? We aren’t asking for a handout. We’re asking members of the community to support an organization that is constantly working it’s tail off to help make your winter better. This year we are offering a greater variety, and number, of free day tours than ever before. We’ve expanded our instructional opportunities so that we can help more people more effectively. We’re expanding our Ski Cubs youth program to Southern Vermont to help even more kids experience the joys of sliding on snow. And, every summer and fall a multitude of trail projects and updates are completed to keep the Catamount Trail is tip-top shape helping to ensure you have a great experience.
Bottom Line: What we do here DOES have value, and sometimes even we need to be reminded of that fact. Everyone here works hard to improve the backcountry experience, and create more opportunities, and more ways to get out and slide on snow here in Vermont.
So, I’m going to promise you that I will value the work we do just as much as I believe you should, and I will also not be ashamed to ask you for your support because we deserve it. In return I want you to do what you can to support the Catamount Trail Association. Tell your friends about us, and make a contribution (big or small) to our Annual Fund. It’s not for nothing.
PS: Please don’t forget about the other organizations here in Vermont that are responsible for some of our other recreational assets such as the Green Mountain Club and the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. They too work very hard in an effort to make your experiences the best they can be, and they are just as deserving as we are.