Franklin County, Maine— Sam Hight, of Hight Family of Dealerships pulled together a group of local partners in an effort to support the demographic most impacted by COVID in Franklin County— children. Together with Skowhegan Savings Bank, Kyes Insurance, and Saddleback Maine, Hight was able to quickly raise $16,500 which will be donated to four different non-profit youth programs throughout Franklin County—Rangeley Alpine Ski Club, Rangeley Health and Wellness Kids’ Program, Little Mountain School, and Titcomb Mountain.

Early in 2020, the Hight Family of Dealerships supported Main Street Skowhegan’s technical assistance program (TA grants). Hight also spearheaded the newly formed Somerset Economic Resource Council to provide community grants to small businesses impacted by COVID. In total, $120,000 in grant funding was raised to help local businesses keep their doors open.

“In 2021, it is important to remember who ultimately and undeservingly takes the biggest hit in times like these—our children—the ones we can all learn from. Whether it is their kindness or acceptance of others, or doing their best, not knowing otherwise,” Hight said.

Beginning in late 2020 Hight along with other local businesses supported the ToyRiffic Toy Drive and Sweet Dreams project in Skowhegan— offering toys, pajamas and gifts to local children, local food programs, and gift programs sponsored by Rangeley Fire Department.

“We are pleased to team up with these businesses and organizations who are like-minded in developing initiatives that help make our communities a better place to live and work,” said David Cyr, president and CEO of Skowhegan Savings Bank. “Sam and The Hight Family of Dealerships really stepped up to drive these programs, supporting them is one more way that
Skowhegan Savings can help our local communities during these difficult times.”

In September, Saddleback Mountain and the Hight Family of Dealerships announced a newlyformed a partnership to help drive a growth in jobs and services for the Rangeley Community. “Rangeley has taken my family in as one of their own, I’ve wanted to give back to kids’ programs which will offer better accessibility, learning opportunities, and focus on healthy outdoor lifestyles, no only to support but as a thank you. I am thankful to have partners that care and are willing to help support this initiative,” said Hight.

Our youth are quickly becoming a “nature deficit” generation,” said Andy Shepard, General Manager at Saddleback Mountain. “This generation has prioritized time in front of a screen over time outdoors, and the implications that has for the emotional and physical health of our youth is concerning.” “Saddleback is committed to providing year-round opportunities for children to grow up surrounded by outdoor recreation and education.”

According to Leslie White, Executive Director of Rangeley Health and Wellness, “Our children’s programs are designed to promote holistic wellness and health of each child. We incorporate components of physical activity, creative expression, and nutrition into our programs which encourage growth and development in a proactive way. Now more than ever, we believe that encouraging healthy behaviors, curiosity and resilience within children is essential for them to become strong community members.”

“There are obviously many organizations that deserve the added support. We also cannot forget the local businesses and individuals that have supported these programs for many years,” said Hight. “We felt that now was a critical time to help the efforts. Our goal is to raise awareness of these wonderful programs to be good neighbors, and do what you can—give, volunteer, be part of the common good.”

Similarly, Kate Philbrick, from The Little Mountain School echoed these sentiments, “Little Mountain School provides an excellent educational foundation for the future of our children. The Rangeley community has been incredibly supportive of our organization, especially as we navigate through uncharted territory.”

About Saddleback:
Located in the beautiful High Peaks and Lakes district of western Maine, Saddleback Mountain was founded in 1960 and has grown its reputation for exceptional snow, some of the best skiing terrain in the East and a friendly, laidback culture. At 4,120 feet of elevation and 2,000 feet of vertical, Saddleback is Maine’s third biggest mountain, and its base elevation of 2,100 feet is Maine’s highest. Just below the mountain is the iconic village of Rangeley, which is the gateway to Rangeley Lake, Mooselookmeguntic and Richardson Lakes.

About Titcomb Mountain:
Titcomb Mountain has been the focus of winter recreational activities for Franklin County residents for over eighty years. You may have been a member of a championship high school ski team, or you may have ridden the T bar for the first time as a youngster, or you may have chased your best friends out on the nordic trails, or toasted marshmallows in the ski hut, or challenged yourself in the Dartmouth cup race, or created a downhill dummy or watched your children ski or ride in the learn to ski and snowboard school or volunteered in the commissary. These experiences that touched your life have also been important to many others. You can help ensure that future generations can continue to make the same memories by supporting the Titcomb Ski Club Educational Foundation, which is a 501 (C)(3) charitable organization.

About Little Mountain School:
Little Mountain School educates children at their individual stage of growth while enriching the development of intellectual, social, emotional, and creative skills. Little Mountain School believes that there are multiple pathways to educate a child and follows both an academic and play-based curriculum centered around experimentation, exploration, concept learning, self-expression, and positive self-image. Little Mountain School’s cooperative association believes that parents play an integral role in their child’s education and development and encourages the involvement of parents to sustain the learning environment.

About Rangeley Health and Wellness:
RHW began in 1993 as a grassroots initiative to bring stable, locally-based, high-quality primary health care to our community. The mission of Rangeley Health and Wellness is to facilitate and advocate for health and wellness in the Rangeley Lakes region. Our children’s programs are supported by our generous donations and grant funding, enabling us to keep enrollment fees reasonable for local families. Our children are the gateway to the future and we believe that a child who is active, happy and healthy will certainly shine. Through opportunities and education we hope to help our children today so they may grow and flourish and share experiences for generations to come. To learn more about Rangeley Health and Wellness and our children’s programs, visit us on our website; https://rrhwp.org/ or call us at 207-864-3055.

About Rangeley Alpine Ski Club:
The Rangeley Alpine Ski Club is passionate about keeping competitive skiing alive for our youth. Formed in 2018, our members and coaches have worked to increase knowledge of the sport and help as many Rangeley youth continue and learn the sport as possible despite the lack of a “home” mountain. As Saddleback has taken on the re-opening of an iconic ski area, they have asked our group to develop and execute a high-quality racing program for Rangeley Lakes Regional School students and weekend skiers alike.

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