Ski resort fundraiser to feature firefighters’ race, chili cookoff

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NEWRY — Firefighters from 17 Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut departments have signed up to compete in the 20th annual Firefighters’ Race on Sunday, March 28, at Sunday River Ski Resort.

Additionally, the accompanying 20th annual Eat the Heat Chili Cookoff will feature chili from 10 area and mountain restaurants.

Money raised from both events at the White Cap Lodge benefits Maine Handicapped Skiing.

Resort spokeswoman Darcy Liberty said Thursday by e-mail that the firefighters’ race, which starts at 10 a.m., involves firefighters in full gear, racing down a giant slalom course on the Tempest trail while toting 50 feet of fire hose.

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Teams are composed of skiers, snowboarders and sometimes even snow-bladers, Liberty said.

Last year’s defending champions, the Jay Fire Department, will defend its title.

Jay edged out 15 other teams with a winning time of 30.05 seconds, according to the resort’s March 22, 2009, report.

The margin of victory over second-place finishers from Bethel was only 0.07 seconds, whereas the margin between the second- and third-place team from Portland was 0.18 seconds.

In addition to Jay, others registered include fire departments from Auburn, Bethel, Cumberland, Denmark, Gorham, Newry, and Rumford; Falmouth Fire and EMS, Lewiston Firefighters Local 785, Poland Fire and Rescue, Wolfeboro Fire and Rescue of New Hampshire, and Farmington Firefighter Association L-3103 of Connecticut.

Restaurants currently signed up for the Eat the Heat Chili Cookoff, which starts at noon, include: Funky Red Barn, Sudbury Inn, Roosters Roadhouse, Homeslice Pizza, Shipyard Brew Haus, Gringo Harry’s, Connecticut Fire Fighters, Cho Sun, Local 785 — Wilson Fire Department, and Sunday River Brewing Co.

Chili samples are $1 each.

Both the firefighters’ race and chili cookoff follow Maine Handicapped Skiing’s 25th annual skiing Ski-A-Thon to be held on Saturday, March 27, at the resort.

This event features teams of five throughout Maine and New England who raise funds for months leading up to the event to support MHS’s free year-round adaptive recreation programs for children and adults with physical disabilities.

Liberty said last year’s Ski-A-Thon Weekend — including the chili contest and firefighters race — raised more than $250,000 for MHS.

“This flagship event for MHS raises 65 percent of their annual budget for the coming year,” she added.

For more information, visit www.skimhs.org and www.sundayriver.com.

 tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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