Friday, February 24, 2012

Plattekill Ski Patrol Needs Your Love (And Money...)

Zane Ashford, 15 rocking the slopes and a ski patroller....
 Okay this is a two-part post. But it has one big message: Support your ski patrol. Platty’s is all-volunteer. They not only work for free, they pay for all their own supplies too. That includes: bandages, splints, sleds, oxygen…. So next time you see them pull someone down the hill on a sled and think but for the grace of god… make sure you also give to them. (Okay, even if you don’t think that might one day be you on the sled). And, one easy way to do it is coming up this and next weekend. This weekend the ski patrol will be selling raffle tickets to raise money and next weekend will be the raffle as well as the annual ski patrol BBQ dinner with live music and the raffle drawing. The prizes are good: everything from a dual suspension mountain bike (retail value $1600) to two pair of Rossi skis – one men’s, one women’s with bindings, an Xbox with Kinect and more). The raffle is a bargain to boot. One ticket for a dollar and a book 6 for $5.

While you’re supporting the ski patrol today, think too about the ski patroller of the future. (Remember I told you this is a two-fer). Zane Ashford, 15, she bubbly with blond hair and blue eyes – and good natured to boot. Also, a fully qualified member of the national ski patrol. We met when I rode the lift with her dad Bim, head of the Platty ski patrol. And like any doting dad he told me about young Zane becoming a patroller at 14. She started studying for it when she was 13… While she can’t actually work at Platty (too young), her story is inspiring.

She grew up seeing her dad patrolling and has always wanted to be one herself. In fact it was partly her dad and partly getting pneumonia and being hospitalized for it when she was young. Ever since, she has wanted to become a doctor and help others. Being a patroller is part of this plan. When I asked her what the hardest part of it was, she didn’t say, skiing down steeps with a sled, or helping someone with a concussion puking up their guts, no, she said confidence. Surrounded by all the adults wanting to become patrollers, she didn’t think she knew what to do, but then found she did and that “98% of the time I was right, but I was shy.”

When I ask when she wants to study in college, she sweetly laughs that she doesn’t know. Not yet. Ah, youth. This is the moment where I’d say it’s wasted on them, but looking at Zane, she seems to be doing all the right things. 

Proud pops... Now support the ski patrol

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