March 5, 2007
NEWRY, MAINE - (News Release) - The month of March has brought Sunday River nearly two feet of new snow in the first week. March also brings long-standing traditions back to Sunday River ski resort: the Maine Handicapped Skiing Ski-A-Thon and the Eat the Heat Chili Cook-Off and Firefighters' Race.
In addition to celebrating the arrival of spring with outdoor parties and fun contests, the events benefit Maine Handicapped Skiing, an organization that helps people with physical disabilities participate in outdoor adventure sports year-round by providing free instruction and equipment. The organization is celebrating its 25th year in 2007.
The 22nd Annual Ski-A-Thon takes place March 24, and historically has been Maine's largest one-day fundraiser. It broke a record in 2006 by raising over $330,000, which is 65% of Maine Handicapped Skiing's annual operating budget.
Teams of five people raise a minimum of $600 to participate in the Ski-A-Thon. In return, they receive a free lift ticket at Sunday River or a free trail pass for cross-country skiing at Sunday River Inn and Cross Country Center, three meals, a T-shirt, a goodie bag, free 10-minute massages, evening entertainment and chances to earn incentive gifts or win individual and team prizes. Participants may start their own teams or join an existing team. More information is available at www.skimhs.org.
Then on Sunday, March 25, the 17th Annual Eat the Heat Chili Cook-Off and Firefighters' Race takes place at Sunday River's White Cap Lodge. The Firefighters' Race attracts fire departments all over the Northeast. Each team of five creates quite a spectacle as they race through a giant slalom course while wearing head-to-toe firefighting gear and carrying a 50-foot hose.
Registration is $150 per team, which includes five lift tickets and five t-shirts. Firefighters from Portland, Maine narrowly defeated the Bethel team to take the crown in 2006. Teams interested in registering may call (207) 824-5084.
Following the race is the Eat the Heat Chili Cook-Off, in which chefs from all over the area compete for the title of Best Chili. Judging begins at noon and chili samples go on sale at 12:15 p.m. for $1 each. Judges include Maine TV, radio and news personalities who will base their decisions on aroma, flavor, presentation and balance of each entry. First, second, and third place and People's Choice award winners will receive prizes.
Cook-off contestants must make 5 gallons of chili on-site from scratch with no pre-cooked or commercially packaged ingredients. Cooking the chili is restricted to gas stoves and grills. Registration for the cook-off is $30 including a t-shirt, and discounted $40 lift tickets are available to participants' family members. Chefs may call (207) 824-5084 to register.
Further information on Sunday River and $79 per person per night March weekend ski and stay packages is available at www.sundayriver.com or by calling (800) 543-2SKI.