Spring Comps That Kick Back

Sunday River fancies itself an integral part of the Bethel-area community and the resort not only takes pride in its beautiful, traditional surroundings, but it aims to support its neighbors whenever possible. Accordingly, we’re hosting a bunch of diverting events this spring that also happen to give back.

On March 29, Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation’s 29th Annual Ski-A-Thon returns to Sunday River.

skiathon2

The Annual Ski-A-Thon raises more than half of Maine Adaptive’s necessary budget to provide a completely free program for its participants.

When Maine Adaptive was created in 1982, by Portland surgeon Dr. Omar Crothers and Les Otten (founder of the American Skiing Company, which formerly operated Sunday River), it was the first adaptive ski organization in the state of Maine. Today, 450 Maine Adaptive volunteers assist 350 skiers and other athletes with physical disabilities each year. Ski-A-Thon teams of up to five members raise a minimum of $1,000 (per team) in pledges and compete in a fun race. The annual event raises more than half of the organization’s operating budget and offers a chance for the organization to celebrate everything that it stands for and has accomplished.

The following day, the Firefighters’ Race on March 30 will see fully kitted-out firefighters compete in a giant slalom race on the Lower Tempest Trail (also in teams of five).

Firefighters' Race may look fun but it gets rather competitive between stations as rivalries build over the years.

Firefighters’ Race may look fun, but it gets rather competitive as rivalries build over the years.

Immediately afterward, the state’s best chili concocters will vie for the coveted “Best Chili” and “People’s Choice” awards at the annual Eat the Heat Chili Cookoff. These events both raise money for Maine Adaptive, as well.

Restaurants and Firefighter teams alike compete for the title but the real winners are the voters getting to taste them all.

Restaurants and firefighter teams alike compete for the title, but the real winners are the voters getting to taste them all.

A few days later, on April 4, the Parrothead Festival hits White Cap. Our Jimmy Buffett-inspired Parrothead Festival is essentially when we deign to admit that the ski season’s coming to a close and finally get on board with impending summer. We do it in a big way, with painkillers (the cocktail), live music, BBQs, and, of course, pond-skimming. How does this epic party give back? The Maine-based Parrot Head Club of the Northern Tropics donates the proceeds from the Margarita Mix-off to a different charity of their choice every year.

The Margarita Mix-Off is one of the most anticipated events of the winter. Voters will even claim their place in line hours before the tasting begins.

The Margarita Mix-off is one of the most anticipated events of the winter. Voters will even claim their places in line hours before the tasting begins.

For more information on these spring events or other events taking place at the resort, visit sundayriver.com.

*This story appeared in Sunday River This Winter. For more stories, pick up a free copy on stands now.