NEWRY — More than 400 Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation students, volunteers, board members and other fundraisers will gather Saturday, March 29, at Sunday River Ski Resort for a ski-a-thon.

They’re coming to turn in their collected donations and celebrate a banner year of programming success for Maine’s nationally renowned adaptive sports and recreation organization, said Deb Maxfield, marketing and development director for Maine Adaptive.

The event, which is in its 29th year, represents the culmination of months of fundraising to support an organization that is the largest in the country to offer free adaptive lessons for all of its students, Maxfield said.

The ski-a-thon is expected to raise more than half of Maine Adaptive’s annual operating budget.

“I am in awe of the passionate fundraising in support of Maine Adaptive’s mission,” Executive Director Peter Adams said.

“We are looking at great numbers and results, so far, with 90 teams currently registered and more joining each day,” he said. “The skiing and riding will be superb on Saturday and we look forward to having a fabulous celebration with our community of supporters.”

Everyone will gather at Sunday River’s Grand Summit Hotel to celebrate a full day of live music, meals and activities outside, including a fun race, games, a costume contest, an obstacle course, a scavenger hunt and 132 trails of skiing and riding, Maxfield said.

In addition to the day of activities, Maine Adaptive will introduce a new recognition award. It will be presented annually to a program participant who has demonstrated great determination, courage and growth during the program year, she said.

This award will be known as the Chip Crothers’ Founders Award, a special recognition created to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Omar “Chip” Crothers.

Thirty-two years ago, Crothers co-founded Maine Handicapped Skiing, now known as Maine Adaptive. The award was developed in partnership with Orthopedic Associates, another organization Crothers helped create, Maxfield said.

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